Read attack blunts Warne

Hampshire 277 - Nottinghamshire 222-5
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The Independent Online

Chris Read, most would agree, is the best wicketkeeper in England However, he does not perform for England because selectors believe Geraint Jones to be a better batsman.

Chris Read, most would agree, is the best wicketkeeper in England However, he does not perform for England because selectors believe Geraint Jones to be a better batsman.

How much better? Read's counter attacking, including much crisp cutting, against a decent attack including Shane Warne, rallied the Championship leaders in an innings that could leave Hampshire further behind tonight.

At 64 for 4, Nottinghamshire were looking to their armoured tail to support David Hussey but the Australian was removed by a fine catch at 139. It was left to Read, with growing backing from Mark Ealham, to seize the high ground with an unbroken stand of 83 in 18 overs.

The establishment view seems to be that while Read is known to be capable of dealing with County bowling, the question is whether he can lift his batting to Test levels. Another question: Is 11 Tests over five years a complete assessment of a developing cricketer?

Hampshire had raised another 55 runs from their three remaining wickets in 15 overs on a morning of low cloud and threats of impending heavy showers. Shaun Udal was lured into a loft to mid on.

Warne won a second batting point before carving to third man, leaving Chris Tremlett to hit two monstrous sixes, one into the middle tier of the Radcliffe Road Stand and one into Bridgford Road.

Soon after noon, Darren Bicknell was swinging at Tremlett and then watching Nic Pothas dive across first slip to miss the catch. Undaunted, Bicknell tried again at the other end and was taken at cover.

Three wickets fell in five overs after lunch before the leaders remembered who they were but Warne ensured that Hampshire never flagged. Their fielding even subdued the Kevin Pietersen baiters.

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