Hampshire v Kent: Sean Ervine hits a ton but hosts still struggle
|LV= County Championship Division Two, Ageas Bowl|
|Close, day three: Kent 507 v Hampshire 351 & 110-1 (f/o)|
|Kent 7pts; Hampshire 5pts|
Sean Ervine scored a century but Hampshire were still forced to follow on as they struggled against Kent on day three in Southampton.
The hosts resumed on 127-3, but James Tredwell (4-102) and Adam Riley (3-124) rattled through Hampshire's batsmen.
A 98-run 10th-wicket stand by Ervine (121) and James Tomlinson (11 not out) saw Hampshire reach 351 all out.
Tredwell then trapped Jimmy Adams lbw for six as Hampshire closed on 110-1 in their second innings, trailing by 46.
Former Zimbabwe Test player Ervine's first century of the season included an impressive 12 fours and four sixes.
The 31-year-old's partnership with Tomlinson was one-run short of Hampshire's highest 10th-wicket stand - set by Walter Livsey and Henry Sprinks in 1928.
Despite following on, Will Smith's unbeaten 66 in Hampshire's second innings gave his side hope of earning a draw to keep them on course for promotion to Division One.
Hampshire all-rounder Sean Ervine:
"This century is right up there with the best I have scored. If we go up, it will be pleasing to think that it may have been as a result of those bonus points we got here.
"Imran Tahir and Tommo were a great support to me because I needed them to stay there. I had to take a few risks and skied a few shots, but luckily they landed in the gaps.
"I was just annoyed at getting out in the way I did with only a few runs needed, but that is the way it goes."
Kent spin bowler James Tredwell:
"You will not get many better hundreds in those circumstances than the one Ervine got.
"As Tomlinson showed, there are not many roll-over number 11s in county cricket these days.
"The wicket is still good though taking a bit of turn, so bowling on it was hard work.
"If we can get early wickets we can get amongst them, but Hampshire might set us a target, which could be interesting."
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James:
"Sean Ervine's first hundred for two years and the two precious bonus points that came about because of it may just be enough to get Hampshire over the line in terms of promotion.
"Hampshire have now scraped five bonus points from a game that Kent have dominated, and given themselves a chance of five more should they secure the draw that had looked a long way off at lunchtime."
BBC Radio Kent's Peter Guise:
"Kent looked set for victory at lunchtime, having Hampshire reeling and, literally, on the back foot.
"Sean Ervine's century and last-wicket partnership with Tomlinson may yet save this game for Hampshire.
"Kent supporters will be delighted to see James Tredwell back taking wickets for his mother county, in tandem with his heir apparent, Adam Riley.
"Kent will need to make early inroads on the final day if they are to force a win against a Hampshire side for whom stubborn resistance would yield a further five valuable points in the promotion race. There is still life in this game."