Hampshire put on back foot by record stand

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The Independent Online

A clutch of firsts from Kent should ensure that Hampshire remain in last place in the Championship's First Division. They were certainly made to play second fiddle here yesterday, with the ball and the bat.

A clutch of firsts from Kent should ensure that Hampshire remain in last place in the Championship's First Division. They were certainly made to play second fiddle here yesterday, with the ball and the bat.

The Hampshire horror show began with an extra 70 minutes in the field as the last pair, Paul Nixon and David Masters, took Kent's score past 300 for the first time this season. All three of Kent's batting points were earned by these two batsmen, whose partnership of 125 in 36 overs smashed the record 10th-wicket record of 97 against Hampshire, set in 1877.

Nixon turned his overnight 92 into a career-best, unbeaten 134 - his previous mark of 131 had also been set against Hampshire, six years ago. Not to be outdone Masters, who was to produce some fine form with the ball later on, also reached his highest Championship score for Kent.

Hampshire's batting this season has not been much better than Kent's, yesterday it was worse. Their captain, Robin Smith, emerged with Giles White to open the innings and the pair were back in the pavilion inside four overs.

With the first half dozen wickets gone before Hampshire had reached 50, things looked bleak. Martin Saggers did the damage claiming 3 for 7 in a telling spell of 14 balls before lunch.

Only some Aussie grit from Shane Warne, who clubbed a belligerent 45, and an impressive 52 by Lawrence Prittipaul on his first-class debut introduced a modicum of respectability to the effort.

Saggers finished with his second five-wicket haul of the season and Kent decided not to enforce the follow-on, preferring to try to build on their 167-run first-innings advantage.

Two early wickets rocked them but Ed Smith and David Fulton took them past the half-century before the former departed, lbw to Dimitri Mascarenhas, having thumped the bowler for six the ball before. Matthew Walker became Warne's 50th Championship victim of the season, but by then the game was looking beyond Hampshire. Fulton was looking comfortable and Kent were sitting a lot prettier, 200 and plenty in front and an attack bristling with confidence and ready to roll over Hampshire for a second time.

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