Nottinghamshire jumped to second place in the First Division table behind Yorkshire after Chris Read's side set out their Championship credentials in compelling style at The Rose Bowl yesterday, when Mark Wagh's unbeaten 131 condemned Hampshire to a fourth straight defeat.
Beaten also in both their 40-over matches so far, Hampshire, who were the winter's most active county in bringing in new faces, have made the poorest start to a season in their history and already face a battle to finish out of the relegation places.
Hampshire's gloom was compounded by injury worries. Their fast bowler Kabir Ali, who has been unable to bowl in the second innings in three consecutive Championship matches, did not appear after tea because of a knee injury. And wicketkeeper Nic Pothas had to be replaced behind the stumps after falling awkwardly.
Dominic Cork took the gloves initially but, already a bowler light with Kabir Ali off the field, Hampshire had to press fitness coach Iain Brunnschweiler into emergency service.
Nottinghamshire were left to chase 245 to win from 63 overs after Hampshire had been bowled out for 273, left-arm spinner Samit Patel finishing with 4 for 55. Wagh hit 17 fours and two sixes, reaching his first 50 off only 42 balls as he dominated a second-wicket stand of 74 with Bilal Shafayat, before adding a further 118 for the third wicket with Hashim Amla (54).
Nottinghamshire lost Patel and Ally Brown cheaply but, joined by Read, Wagh saw his side home with seven overs to spare.
Kent lost their last seven wickets for 42 runs as Warwickshire pulled off a 44-run victory at Canterbury to climb to fourth place in the table.
Needing 201 from 68 overs after dismissing the visitors for 327 as pace bowler Simon Cook increased his match haul to seven wickets, Kent lost Joe Denly to the second ball of the chase and slipped to 51 for 3 but looked like favourites after Martin van Jaarsveld and Sam Northeast added 63 in 18 overs for the fourth wicket.
But after Northeast has been leg before to Imran Tahir, Van Jaarsveld fell in the same way to Darren Maddy, sparking Kent's startling collapse.
In the Second Division, Worcestershire beat Leicestershire by 173 runs at Grace Road to climb three places to third in the table.
The veteran seamer Alan Richardson, who celebrated his 35th birthday 24 hours earlier, claimed five wickets for 44 runs as Leicestershire collapsed to 231 all out – giving Worcestershire victory by 173 runs.
It was Worcestershire's second championship win of the season following their relegation last summer, while Leicestershire – who won their first two games of the season – have now lost two in a row.
At Hove, where the England captain, Andrew Strauss, suffered another failure, Middlesex need a further 121 on the final day with five wickets in hand to end Sussex's 100 per cent record.Reuse content