Hampshire 347 Sussex 30-0: Warne lurks as Pothas hits hundred to defy Sussex

Nic Pothas has some quirky habits at the crease - brushing his bat between his legs, touching the popping and return creases and other superstitions - but his most endearing in Hampshire eyes is the one of sticking around when the going toughens.

The times he has toughed it out and dragged Hampshire out of the mire and back into matches, are legion. This, his 12th hundred for Hampshire and 19th in all, could well be his most important.

Hampshire arrived here in fourth place, 22 points behind Sussex, the First Division joint leaders. By the close yesterday, their title challenge had been resuscitated and that despite stumbling to 117 for 5 in the morning session after their captain, Shane Warne, fresh from the Australian boot camp, had won the toss - only his third successful call of the season - and elected to bat on a good pitch that had decent bounce.

The chances are Warne's mind was not so much on the first-day pitch as on the fourth, when he could be wheeling in for much of it, just as Sussex's leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed did yesterday, sending down 28 overs unchanged between noon and tea from the Cromwell Road End.

The first couple of hours saw Sussex take charge, although a belligerent, 41-ball innings from Chris Benham which contained 14 fours (the same number Pothas hit to reach three figures), did ensure that the home team did not have things all their own way. And, after lunch, Pothas, a South African with a Greek passport, wrested the initiative from Sussex with a little help first from Sean Ervine, then, more tellingly, with his captain.

Pothas and Warne came together in the 51st over and proceeded to forge an impressive 117-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

The pair are no strangers to rescue acts; they put on 113 to take Hampshire to within sight of victory against Middlesex at Lord's early last month.

This latest effort occupied some 27 overs. It was not without incident, Pothas being dropped on 46 by Carl Hopkinson at point, but it did the trick.

Pothas reached his second century against Sussex off 179 balls. By then, though, Sussex had achieved what Middlesex and Kent had failed to do, dismiss him. Warne had been unbeaten in his three previous innings. But he did notch up his second fifty in successive Championship innings.

Pothas hung in there, finishing unbeaten for the third successive innings in the Championship, two of those scores being hundreds - this one his highest score of the season after an obdurate stay spanning four hours and 20 minutes.

Life and Style
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine