County Championship: Late wickets give Worcestershire edge

A mackerel sky hangs over the Ageas Bowl during the first day of Hampshire's Championship game against Worcestershire
A mackerel sky hangs over the Ageas Bowl during day one of Hampshire's meeting with Worcestershire
LV= County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day one)
Hampshire: 119-4: Adams 48, Leach 2-42
Worcestershire: Yet to bat
Worcestershire 1 pt, Hampshire 0 pts
Match scorecard

Worcestershire took late wickets to swing a rain-affected first day's play back in their favour as Hampshire closed on 119-4 at Southampton.

After a delayed mid-afternoon start, Hampshire looked in control as openers Jimmy Adams (48) and Liam Dawson (39) put on 88 for the first wicket.

But teenage debutant Ed Barnard made Dawson his maiden first-class scalp.

Joe Leach then struck twice either side of left-armer Jack Shantry having Michael Carberry caught behind.

After a washed-out morning, following heavy overnight rain, play finally got underway at 15:00 BST after Worcestershire had won the toss and decided to field on a green-tinged wicket with rarely seen blue skies overhead.

Debutant day for Worcestershire
Worcestershire gave first-class debuts to England Under-19 duo Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke - and a Championship debut to New Zealander Colin Munro.
Before play got under way, Hampshire awarded former Durham batsman Will Smith his county cap.

The two counties were promoted together from Division Two last season but have found life in the top flight more difficult, with just one win between them.

In that spirit, Adams and Dawson carefully watched a dangerous opening spell by Leach and Charlie Morris go by without too many issues.

Dawson beautifully timed a drive on the back foot to collect the first boundary of the match as both openers looked to play straight.

But, once Dawson had edged Barnard to the slips and Carberry had then departed with just 28 balls left to bowl in the day to end his run of three straight first-class half-centuries, it was a different story.

Adams was trapped lbw by Leach two short of a fourth fifty of the season in the next over and James Tomlinson went in the same way to the day's final delivery.

Hampshire first-team coach Dale Benkenstein:

"It wasn't a good end to the day but we had a good couple of hours before that.

"We would have had a bowl as well, knowing that if you don't bowl well you only have 50 overs on the park.

"Our guys did well up front to the new ball but we have the same problem every game where no batsman takes the game by the scruff of the neck.

"Its not easy when the wicket is giving a bit of assistance to the seamers but we are not helping ourselves. There were times when they weren't looking threatening but were still not giving us many runs."

Worcestershire fast bowler Ed Barnard:

"There were a few nerves jangling around when I got the nod. Jack Shantry, Joe Leach and Charlie Morris were giving me advice.

"They are three experienced bowlers and have done very well this season. To have them next to me was good for me.

"It was a great last 45 minutes but we deserved it after the way we bowled throughout the day. We were consistent and kept the pressure on them without letting them get away.

"Joe getting that last one at the end was an extra bonus. 250 will be a decent score but our own aim will be to keep them under 200. We will want to get a big lead and not have to bat again."

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