Cricket: Hampshire hit back

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The Independent Online
JOHN STEPHENSON'S second century of the season led Hampshire to an unlikely victory at Southampton yesterday.

Middlesex had dominated the first three days until rain intervened. At that stage, Middlesex were 231 ahead with eight second-innings wickets remaining. But on the final day, they were obliged to seek quick runs for a declaration and left Hampshire a target of 300 from 67 overs.

Stephenson and Giles White put on 141 for the first wicket, then Stephenson and Will Kendall added another 90 for the second but, having reached his century, the opener was caught soon after by Andrew Strauss off Phil Tufnell. Nixon McLean added more quick runs before Kendall sealed victory.

A century from the England discard Graeme Hick was the highlight of the day at Taunton, where Somerset and Worcestershire seem set to fight out a close finish today. Hick reached 110 before Graham Rose had him caught behind by Mike Burns. Andy Caddick's 11th wicket of the match left Worcestershire on 230 for 6 at the close. 171 in front.