County Championship: James Vince hits fifty for Hampshire in season opener
Last Updated: 13/04/18 7:35pm
James Vince scored an enterprising fifty for Hampshire on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship, boosting his England Test claims.
Vince struck 14 boundaries in a 74-ball 75 against Worcestershire at The Ageas Bowl, but a criticism of the silky shot-maker in his 13 Tests caps has been his habit of getting out when well set and, with a century on the cards, he was bowled by Steve Magoffin (2-61) on the stroke of lunch.
Allrounder Gareth Berg also hit 75, finishing the innings unbeaten, but the rest of the Hampshire batsmen struggled as they were bowled out for 290.
Worcestershire captain Joe Leach claimed 4-42, part-time medium-pacer Daryl Mitchell (2-21) took two wickets in as many balls, while promising 20-year-old quick Josh Tongue (2-61) also grabbed two-for, including South Africa's Hasim Amla (36), lbw.
Worcestershire were 40-2 by stumps, with Mitchell unbeaten on 15. Fidel Edwards (1-2) picked up Brett D'Oliveira (1) in the second over, while Kyle Abbott (1-14) bowled Tom Fell (16).
The start of the 2018 County Championship was otherwise disrupted by bad weather, with no play possible in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Kent or Warwickshire. The Division Two match between Middlesex and Northamptonshire at Lord's did, however, get underway.
Bad light disrupted play for much of the afternoon, with only 48.5 overs possible, as Middlesex closed on 136-4, recovering from 63-4 earlier in the day.
Northants seamer Ben Sanderson (2-30) was on a hat-trick having claimed wickets with consecutive balls, while Brett Hutton (2-35) - signed from Nottinghamshire - also struck twice, on debut.
Middlesex skipper Sam Robson was one of Hutton's victims, falling for a 65-ball 14, but Paul Stirling (40no) and John Simpson (31no) shared an unbroken 69-run stand through to stumps.