County Championship: Hampshire tailenders keep Middlesex at bay

John Simpson stumps Hampshire batsman Joe Weatherley off Ethan Bamber
Joe Weatherley was the first Hampshire wicket to fall to a smart stumping from John Simpson
LV= County Championship Group Two, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day one):
Hampshire 281-8: Holland 64, Northeast 63, Abbott 35*; Andersson 2-53
Middlesex: Yet to bat
Hampshire 2 pts, Middlesex 2 pts

Hampshire's middle and lower order put in a dogged display to keep Middlesex's bowlers at bay on an evenly-poised County Championship opening day.

Half-centuries from Ian Holland (64) and Sam Northeast (63) plus 35 not out from Kyle Abbott helped them to 281-8.

Middlesex had enjoyed the better of the afternoon session as Hampshire slumped from 77-1 to 196-6, James Vince falling cheaply for just nine.

But Abbott's 145-ball stay moved the hosts to within sight of 300 by stumps.

Coming off the back on an innings win against Leicestershire in their opening match, Hampshire won the toss on a green-tinged pitch and elected to bat first.

Having lost opener Joe Weatherley (16) to a fine stumping by John Simpson off Ethan Bamber, Tom Alsop (19) and Holland added 51 for the second wicket before the former miscued a pull shot off Steven Finn (2-90).

Holland and first-week double centurion Vince fell quickly after lunch while Liam Dawson (22), who had earlier been struck on the head by Martin Andersson, and Lewis McManus (4) were also dismissed shortly before tea.

The hosts looked in deeper trouble when Northeast departed to a rash stroke off Andersson (2-53) at 221-7.

But Abbott was able to stand firm in the remainder of the evening session first alongside Mason Crane (18) and then Brad Wheal (11 not out) to deny Middlesex the chance to bat before stumps.

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