Mascarenhas on fire for Hants

Lv County Championship
Dimitri Mascarenhas

Dimitri Mascarenhas

Hampshire all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas struck a career-best 131 to give Shane Warne’s side a chance of beating Kent in the Liverpool Victoria County Championship Division One match at Canterbury.

The efforts of Mascarenhas enabled Hampshire to stretch their overnight 171 for two to 554 for seven, a lead of 269, before Kent reached 29 without loss in the final 12 overs of the day.

The all-rounder’s top score this season - prior to today (Friday) - was 41, and his second 50 in today’s effort came off only 37 balls, including 11 fours, all off Dwayne Bravo.

The West Indies Test all-rounder has taken only one wicket since he arrived at Canterbury - at a cost of 283 runs.

John Crawley, dropped off the third ball of the day at 114, went on to make 189 in six hours before he followed a delivery from Amjad Khan and was caught by wicket-keeper Geraint Jones.

Robert Key fluffed a waist-high chance straight at him at slip.

Crawley struck 28 fours, four more than Mascarenhas, and added 116 for the fourth wicket with Dominic Thornely (52) before Jones claimed his third catch of the innings.

Having already accounted for Sean Ervine (15) as well as Australian Thornely, Jones snaffled another simple catch off the bowling of Tyron Henderson.

Jones was given a torrid time by his bowlers - only two wides were signalled but he still had to fling himself either side of the wicket to take some wayward bowling.

He reported no more damage, though, to the finger which he injured in the Old Trafford Test.

On a flat pitch, Nic Pothas gave Crawley-style support to Mascarenhas in a sixth-wicket stand of 174 before the South African-born wicket-keeper tried a reverse sweep which came off the toe of his bat and was caught by Martin van Jaarsveld.

Mascarenhas opened up after tea with a full range of shots all round the wicket, and the 28-year-old was going for the first six in his spectacular innings off Min Patel when Darren Stevens hauled the ball down in front of the Frank Woolley Stand.

Warne's unbeaten 44 off 31 balls included three sixes, and he should be busy on the final day operating on a surface receptive to his leg-spin.

His opener Chris Tremlett is unlikely to bowl, though, after being taken to hospital suffering from an illness.

Kent's former England bowler Martin Saggers also went off with a recurrent heel injury which has kept him out for most of the season.

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