Hampshire hit for six by Harbhajan's box of tricks

Surrey 361 - Hampshire 146
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The Independent Online

It took him a little while but Harbhajan Singh, known as the "Turbanator", finally got into the swing of things and left Hampshire in a right old spin yesterday.

Having done his bit with the bat, when he and Dominic Thornely ensured a fourth batting point for Surrey, Harbhajan achieved his first five-wicket haul for his new employers.

Yet the day had begun so well for Hampshire after the previous day's contretemps between the captain, Shane Warne, and the umpire Alan Whitehead. Word was that the pair had shaken on their disagreement and had consigned the matter to the past. That should mean Warne's name will not appear in the umpire's end-of-match report to Lord's.

But the Australian leg-spinner's mood would not have been helped by what he witnessed between tea and the close on a day when drizzle had robbed the match of a further 45 overs to go with the 28 lost on the first day. That was when Harbhajan claimed six wickets to undermine a great deal of hard work by Chris Benham - 22, Surrey-born and full of promise. The opener Jimmy Adams was put out of his misery by Martin Bicknell in the fifth over of the innings. Benham and Michael Brown then proceeded cautiously to tea in a 51-run stand.

The problems arose after the interval. In the first over after tea Mohammad Akram tempted Brown into an ill-advised hook shot. John Crawley then fell to a bat-pad catch at short leg.

Benham took his score to within touching distance of a half-century then lost Craig McMillan before he departed himself for 41. Harbhajan waded through the rest of the batsmen after that, with an intercession by Jimmy Ormond, to leave them facing the follow-on.

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