Cricket: Hayden indulges in mayhem

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Derbys 523 and 208-4 dec

Hants 422-7 dec and 310-3 Hants win by 7 wkts

His erstwhile colleagues may toil but Matthew Hayden, left out of Australia's Ashes squad, continues to enjoy a most agreeable English summer. The tall left-hander from Queensland yesterday struck his fourth century in five innings as Hampshire secured their first win of the season in the Britannic Assurance Championship.

Australia's loss, however, has been Hampshire's substantial gain. His engagement as the county's overseas player was not without opposition, given Hampshire's lack of depth in bowling, but he has already justified his contract with more than 1,000 runs in all competitions, including 686 in the Championship.

Yesterday's unbeaten 136, an attacking, sometimes streaky but thoroughly entertaining innings containing 18 fours, followed three centuries in five days against Warwickshire last week - 235 not out and 119 in the four-day match - and 118 in the AXA Life League.

It enabled Hampshire to make short work of victory after Derbyshire, without a Championship success, had declared at lunch, inviting their opponents to score 310 from 65 overs. Six of those overs were lost to rain but Hampshire still won with more than three to spare.

With Dominic Cork missing from Derbyshire's attack through injury and Devon Malcolm on Test duty, it did not seem a demanding task on a flat Queen's Park wicket and, although Dean Jones deserves applause for keeping the match alive, it was soon clear there would be only one winner.

Hayden and Jason Laney, finding his form after a sticky start to the season, put on 215 in just 40 overs before Laney was unlucky to be out seven short of a century, bowled off his pads by Andrew Harris.

Laney's departure merely precipitated the arrival at the crease of the England discard Robin Smith, and Derbyshire could do nothing to peg back Hampshire's progress. Smith added 52 to his first-innings 154 before edging an expansive drive to be caught at slip.

The loss of 21 overs on Friday left Derbyshire with insufficient time to set a more testing target, but enough for the opener Kim Barnett to complete his 50th first-class hundred for the county in 19 years of service.