County Championship: McLaren leads Hampshire rescue after five wickets for Barker

Keith Barker was applauded off after his five-wicket morning haul against Hampshire at Southampton
Keith Barker was applauded off after his five-wicket morning haul against Hampshire at Southampton
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (close, day one)
Hampshire 189-8: McLaren 84*, Barker 5-44
Warwickshire: Yet to bat
Warwickshire 2 pts, Hampshire 0 pts
Match scorecard

Keith Barker took five wickets before lunch on the opening day of the County Championship to put Warwickshire on top against Hampshire at Southampton.

But South African Ryan McLaren then limited the damage by the end of the day as he hit an unbeaten 84 to help Hampshire recover from 87-7 to 189-8.

Bad light interrupted an impressive fightback, forcing an early close.

But left-armer Barker's 5-44 - this season's first five-wicket haul - has given the Bears the upper hand.

After new Warwickshire county captain Ian Bell elect to bowl without a toss under the new regulations on a green-tinged pitch, they were rewarded when Barker struck with his 13th delivery, to find Michael Carberry's edge.

He also removed Carberry's young opening partner Tom Alsop five balls later, also caught behind before claiming a third victim of a ferocious opening spell from the Hotel End when Will Smith gave a catch to short leg, then bagging both Liam Dawson and Sean Ervine lbw.

But McLaren scored his fifth Championship half century - his second in succession after ending last season with 52 against Nottinghamshire.

Reece Topley's 15, in a 51-run stand with McLaren, beat his previous best first-class score of 12 before being comprehensively bowled by England rival Chris Woakes. And McLaren has put on a further 51 runs in a so far unbroken stand with James Tomlinson, who is still there on 15.

The only other Hampshire player to reach double figures were James Vince, who made 25 before mistiming a leading edge off England and Ireland international Boyd Rankin, and Dawson (20).

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White told BBC Radio Solent:

"It was a difficult start. If you lose six wickets in the first session it is far from ideal but credit to Warwickshire. They bowled well. They put us under pressure.

"The new ball moved around. For Barker to get five wickets before lunch is an excellent achievement. He swung the ball consistently and put it in good areas.

"But we fought back well. Ryan McLaren was fantastic under the circumstances and he was well supported by the lower order as well."

Warwickshire fast bowler Keith Barker told BBC Sport:

"It was a brilliant start for me. I couldn't have asked for anything better. The lads have bowled really well and stayed in there.

"We have scrapped quite a bit and they made it quite difficult for us towards the end of the day. But we'd have taken that score before the start.

"A couple of lads saw the wicket yesterday and thought it would be a bowling day. But it took until we saw the wicket ourselves until we decided what to do."