Adams gets champions off to flyer

Hampshire 218 & 131 Nottinghamshire 327 & 26-1 (Nottinghamshire win by 9 wickets)
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The Independent Online

Title holders Nottinghamshire opened their County Championship defence with an emphatic victory inside three days. It was made possible by another exceptional performance by the veteran former New Zealand international Andre Adams, who picked up where he left off last season as Nottinghamshire's regular match-winner.

The leading bowler in the Championship last year with 68 wickets, 35-year-old Adams took advantage of conditions that continued to aid swing and seam movement to finish with 6 for 31 as Hampshire crumbled to 131 all out in the second innings. Combined with his 5 for 45 from the first innings, it gave him career-best match figures of 11 for 76.

Nottinghamshire, who owed a debt to Samit Patel's first-innings century on Friday for enabling Adams and his fellow bowlers to put Hampshire under real pressure yesterday, were left needing only 23 to win, which they knocked off in just over four overs, collecting 22 points with virtually four sessions to spare. Patel's 116 was the key factor in giving Nottinghamshire a first-innings lead of 109, which soon looked a daunting deficit for Hampshire as openers Jimmy Adams and Liam Dawson fell to Luke Fletcher and Charlie Shreck.

But it was Adams who tore their prospects apart, nipping one back to trap Neil McKenzie with his second ball and then taking three wickets in the space of nine deliveries as Johann Myburgh, Sean Ervine and Nic Pothas fell in quick succession, leaving Hampshire reeling at 56 for 6. Friedel de Wet and Danny Briggs became victims number five and six, with Shreck and Fletcher mopping up the rest. Only James Vince, who played some classy shots in an unbeaten 59, played with sufficient vigilance.

Adams can do little wrong, with bat or ball, having started the day by ensuring the home side did not miss out on a third batting point after closing day two on 293 for 9 and going on to land some big blows in a 40-ball 37. Yet he is modest about his own contribution.

"I love playing here," Adams said. "Mick [Newell, the coach] and Ready [captain Chris Read] trust me virtually to do what I like with the ball. It always swings here and I just try to bowl maidens and be tricky and if the wickets come, they come.

"We've lost Ryan [Sidebottom] but we have some good young bowlers coming on such as Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter and my role as a senior player is to give them someone to look up to."