County Championship: Mason Crane takes six wickets in day as Hampshire sense victory

Chris Wright was the last of Hampshire spinner Mason Crane's morning victims at Leicester
Chris Wright was the last of Hampshire spinner Mason Crane's morning victims at Leicester
County Championship Group Two, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (day three):
Hampshire 612-5 dec: Vince 231, Dawson 152*, Alsop 119
Leicestershire 202: Dearden 42; Abbott 3-27, Crane 3-49 & 279-8: Hill 65, Dearden 62; Crane 3-101
Hampshire 8 pts, Leicestershire 2 pts

Hampshire were denied the chance of a three-day win by bad light as they just failed to force victory at Leicester.

The visiting Hampshire attack took 14 Leicestershire wickets in the day - six of them for leg-spinner Mason Crane.

But, despite claiming the extra half hour, the light then quickly faded and play was abandoned for the day.

After the Foxes, 151-4 overnight, were bowled out for 202, Lewis Hill (65) and Harry Dearden (62) helped them improve in the second innings to reach 279-8.

Earlier, Crane had taken three of the wickets as Leicestershire added just a further 51 in their first innings. And, when the hosts followed on, he claimed the key wicket of Dearden, who had batted well as he followed up his first-innings 42.

After 94-2 had quickly become a more ominous 104-4, Hill and Harry Swindells (34) then put on 78 for the fifth wicket.

But, although Swindells and Ben Mike fell in quick succession, Hill, Callum Parkinson and Chris Wright all conspired to take the game into a final day after a seven o'clock finish.

Leicestershire batsman Harry Swindells told BBC Radio Leicester:

"We tried to battle but 50s and 60s don't win you games. Once you get in you've got to go big, like James Vince and Liam Dawson did for Hampshire. That's a lesson we have to learn.

"I feel comfortable batting in the top six, but you've got to get big runs to keep justifying that trust. Getting 200 in our first innings on that track was way below pa. It's a 350-400 track."

Hampshire spinner Mason Crane:

"We'd have taken 14 wickets at the start of the day. To be only two wickets away from victory is a nice feeling. We stuck at it well.

"Any day you take six wickets is a good one and there was a bit of spin and bounce at times, although it was quite slow - I'd always settle for that in April."

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