Cricket: Hampshire rocked by Rollins

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The Independent Online
Derbyshire 357-6 v Hampshire

Unlike his colleague Chris Adams, Adrian Rollins had no apologies to make to anyone yesterday. With only 51 runs in seven Championship innings behind him, he seized the moment - a blissful day, a decent pitch and an accommodating, if hard working, attack - and batted all day for an unbeaten 149.

Rollins knows more than most how thin the line is between success and failure. On Monday he was cut off in full flow against the Australians when ludicrously given out lbw to a ball which pitched outside leg stump. Here, he almost failed to survive James Bovill's first over of the day.

Trying to get off the mark with a push into the covers, he was sent back and probably only made it because the throw left Adrian Aymes with too much to do. After that, the pair went their separate ways, Aymes to keep wicket immaculately, Rollins to bat with a growing full-bladed authority.

Rollins has not always done himself such justice. Sometimes restricted footwork causes him to play across the line, which is not recommended against the new ball. But Hampshire offered him shortness and width that enabled him to give the ball a resounding whack off the back foot and he never looked back.

At one point, with Adams bludgeoning the bowling off the front foot, they scored 124 in 24 overs. Hampshire probably half expected that after winning the toss and their decision to bowl first probably owed something to thoughts of batting last on this pitch against a seam-heavy attack.

Adams continued his eventful week by at last accepting Derbyshire's decision to fine him for dissent when given out lbw by the umpire Vanburn Holder against the Australians. He also issued a belated public apology, although his explanation that the incident was "a unique situation which occurred only out of total confusion" will bring only hollow laughter from cricketers and umpires of all standards.

That behind him, Adams strode out to make 79 off 78 balls, another cameo innings which illustrated both his strength - in every sense of the word - and his weakness. Some of his driving was terrific, but his bat was also passed and he got himself out when a century before lunch seemed his for the taking. Driving at an outswinger from Simon Renshaw, he was spectacularly taken at slip, where Shaun Udal knocked the ball up for Matthew Hayden to complete the catch.

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