Cobb, Thakor and White boost Leicestershire
Teenager Shiv Thakor hit his third half-century in six innings as Leicestershire reached 334 for eight on the first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two game against Hampshire at Grace Road.
Thakor made a championship-best 71 not out off 114 balls to help Leicestershire fight back after slumping to 43 for three.
Josh Cobb and Wayne White also struck half-centuries as the hosts’ middle-order batsmen battled hard to put a dent in Hampshire’s promotion ambitions.
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams asked Leicestershire to bat on a green-looking pitch after winning the toss.
With cloudy conditions, it looked a perfect morning for seam bowlers and Kabir Ali quickly cashed in with a wicket in his second over, trapping Michael Thornley lbw as he tried to work the ball away through the leg side.
As the ball continued to seam and swing, batting became hard work and Ned Eckersley decided on an aggressive approach, hitting three boundaries in an over off James Tomlinson before Kabir struck again; he found the edge of Eckersley’s bat and Neil McKenzie took a low catch at first slip.
Will Jones, who had battled his way to 23, soon followed, caught behind off a fine delivery from David Balcombe that swung and lifted.
That left Leicestershire wobbling at 43 for three, but some steely and resourceful batting by the middle-order slowly pulled the hosts out of trouble, with three healthy partnerships taking them to respectability in the difficult conditions.
Cobb led the way with an excellent 82, sharing stands of 75 with Ramnaresh Sarwan and 76 with Matthew Boyce.
Sarwan, who hit five fours in his 36, looked in fine form before being undone by an in-swinging delivery from Tomlinson to fall lbw.
Cobb, joined by Boyce, reached his fifty off 87 balls and struck five more fours before his 139-ball innings came to end when he was bowled by Sean Ervine, who then had Boyce caught at slip for 32.
But the 18-year-old Thakor and all-rounder White shared a seventh-wicket stand of 109 in 27 overs to take the hosts past the 300 mark.
White hit a half-century off 77 balls with eight fours and Thakor was still there at the close having struck 10 - including four in one over off Balcombe - in another eye-catching innings.