Cork makes dream start to new job

Worcestershire 132 Hampshire 76-4
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The Independent Online

Cork by name, irrepressibly buoyant by nature. At the age of 37, but as eager as ever to make a big impression, Dominic of that ilk warmed up with two catches and then captured four wickets in the space of 11 balls to make an almost inevitably dramatic championship debut for Hampshire here.

The former Derbyshire, Lancashire and England pace bowler seldom if ever does things by half and, having eased himself into his new county's season-opener, he demolished Worcestershire with a classic bout of swing bowling which brought three leg before verdicts – and one rejected appeal – from four consecutive deliveries.

At one stage, the newly-promoted visitors were sitting reasonably pretty on 101 for 3. By the time Cork had worked his magic, they were 132 all out and the Hampshire new boy was trooping off to great acclaim with figures of 4 for 10 from eight overs. This was the man, remember, who created an England Test record by taking seven wickets on his debut 14 years ago and also bagged a hat-trick against West Indies in 1995.

That was not the end of the fireworks, however, with Hampshire promptly subsiding to 10 for 3 in reply.

There was little sign of the clatter to come when Cork, appearing as second change, began his Hampshire career with four tight but unsuccessful overs after Worcestershire had chosen to bat once a sodden outfield had dried to allow play to start two hours late.

Cork held a comfortable catch in the gully to send back Stephen Moore, then Vikram Solanki's tentative cut gave David Balcombe a second wicket. Ben Smith snicked a cut against left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, Daryl Mitchell's defiance was ended by Chris Tremlett's lifter before Cork pouched a simple chance at second slip when Steven Davies drove at Sean Ervine.

Re-enter Cork the bowler. Gareth Batty, Kabir Ali and Chris Whelan were all pinned in front of their stumps, trapped by sideways movement through the air and off a green-tinged but certainly not unplayable pitch. Whelan survived one appeal but not the second.

There was no stopping Cork, Matt Mason's waft outside off stump earning a fourth success before Moeen Ali brought the innings to a close by slogging James Tomlinson to wide mid-off.

With pitch inspector Tony Pigott looking on, more wickets soon tumbled – Hampshire crumbling to 10 for 3 inside three overs as Michael Carberry and Michael Lumb snicked Kabir Ali to keeper Davies either side of John Crawley doing something similar against Matt Mason. The home side were 76 for 4 at the close.