County Championship: Hampshire skipper James Vince keeps visitors in it at Lord's

James Vince
James Vince's half-century helped Hampshire recover after their top four batsmen fell for a combined 20 runs
LV= County Championship Group Two, Lord's, London (day two):
Middlesex 172: Gubbins 51, Cullen 27; Abbott 6-44
Hampshire 131-7: Vince 62, Barker 23*; Bamber 3-43
Hampshire (3 pts) trail Middlesex (2 pts) by 41 runs

Hampshire skipper James Vince hit 62 to help his side recover from a poor start against Middlesex at Lord's.

Nick Gubbins (51) top scored for the hosts, who had ended a rain-affected first day on 90-4, as they posted 172 all out.

Hampshire paceman Kyle Abbott ended with figures of 6-44 and Mohammad Abbas chipped in with 3-46.

The visitors slumped to 9-3 in reply but Vince's half-century helped them to 131-7 at the close, 41 behind.

Seamer Blake Cullen ended Vince's resistance with a peach of a ball just before stumps that got through his defences, a first Championship wicket for the teenager.

Earlier Middlesex had slipped from 90-4 to 100-7 but Gubbins' dogged half-century and Cullen's 27 helped them recover slightly.

Hampshire also lost quick wickets at the start of their innings when Ethan Bamber (3-41) clean bowled Ian Holland and then took the wicket of fellow opener Joe Weatherley.

It got worse when Tim Murtagh (2-16) trapped Tom Alsop in the next over to leave the visitors, who had been dismissed for 79 and 93 in the first innings of their past two matches, on 9-3.

Vince kept his head for a 101-ball half-century and Keith Barker ended the day unbeaten on 23 to leave the game in the balance.

Middlesex seamer Blake Cullen:

"Nick Gubbins played very well this morning. It's a shame he couldn't kick on. It was nice to have a bit of a partnership with him and to make a few under that pressure.

"It gave me a bit of energy and confidence to go out there with the ball and see what I could do. And I'm really happy to get James Vince because he could have caused a bit of trouble for us.

"It was a handy one to get this evening. I just managed to get it to nip back up the slope and take the off-stump which I was looking to do."

Hampshire skipper James Vince:

"It was a hard day for batting. It felt really tough out there. It is going to be one of those games where every run counts, so 40 behind with three wickets left, we've got to get as close to them as we can and if possible edge ahead.

"It got a little bit easier as the ball got softer but there was always something happening. The ball is taking some divots out where there is still grass on the pitch.

"I used every part of the bat out there. Some of them even came off the back. I rode my luck a bit. I tried to strike a balance between trying to hang in there until the ball got a bit softer. but trying to score runs as well."

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