Half centuries from James Vince, Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott frustrated Nottinghamshire on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl.

Vince scored 74 but when he fell Dawson and Abbott added 133 in 35 overs for the eighth wicket.

Dawson scored 72 and Abbott was left stranded on 60 not out as the home side reached 277 before being bowled out in 74.5 overs.

Nottinghamshire’s most successful bowlers were Matt Carter and Steven Mullaney. The off-spinner took three for 34 and the captain finished with three for 43, having taken all of his wickets inside five deliveries after lunch.

In the 15 overs that remained late in the day Notts were reduced to 39 for four, with Fidel Edwards taking three of the wickets.

Although very light drizzle was falling, the captains still exchanged the teams at 10.30am and Mullaney announced that it would be an uncontested toss, with the home side asked to bat first.

Notts made five changes from the last championship match, played against Surrey almost four weeks ago.

Out for a variety of reasons were Stuart Broad (Test Match duty), Jake Ball and Tom Moores (injured), Harry Gurney (rested) and Will Fraine (not selected).

Their replacements were Carter, Chris Nash (back from injury), Matt Milnes, Mark Footitt and Kraigg Brathwaite.

Braithwaite, the West Indian Test match opener, was presented with his county cap on making his Nottinghamshire debut.

Deteriorating conditions prevented play for 45 minutes and it was still fairly gloomy when they got underway, with the floodlights burning brightly.

The first runs of the match were four byes as Footitt speared one down the legside of the left-handed Jimmy Adams and it kept on going, giving stand-in ‘keeper Riki Wessels no chance of stopping it.

Footitt, playing his first championship match for 12 months, bowled a threatening early burst and received reward at the start of the 10th over, when Joe Weatherley (9) edged behind.  

Jimmy Adams and Vince lifted the score to 57 for one by lunch, although Mullaney came close to bowling the former, right at the end of the session; a scratchy inside-edge just missing the sticks.

That delivery might have been on both player’s minds as their rivalry was renewed straight after the interval and this time the bowler gained his due reward by knocking back Adams’ off stump.

Two balls later Notts had a bowling point as Mullaney produced an identical delivery to spread-eagle the stumps of Sam Northeast, leaving the hosts on 58 for three.

The captain wasn’t finished. At the start of his next over he then bowled Tom Alsop for nought – in five balls he had taken 3-0 – hitting the stumps each time – to leave Hants on 62 for four.

A partnership of 75 then followed between Vince and Riley Rossouw before both players fell in quick succession.

Fletcher’s persistence paid off as Rossouw edged to Carter at second slip for 13. Two balls later Carter accounted for the Hampshire captain by having Vince snared – at the second attempt – by Mullaney at slip.

For the second time in the session a third wicket fell in quick succession – all with the score on 137 - as Fletcher pinned Gareth Berg for the third duck of the day.

Dawson and Abbott fought back – adding an unbroken 56 together before the tea break.

The weather had steadily improved throughout the day and the late session began with hot sunshine and clear blue skies overhead.

Notts rotated their bowlers but the runs continued to flow as the century partnership was brought up before another burst of three quick wickets ended the innings.

Carter produced a double-wicket maiden, to the delight of the travelling contingent, which began with Dawson dancing down the track and being bowled, then Dale Steyn edged to slip.

Last man Edwards was run out trying to sneak a quick single, leaving Abbott undefeated.

Brathwaite steered Steyn’s second ball of the reply down to third man for four to open his account for the county. 

The Barbadian could only add one more single before falling to his fellow countryman, nicking Edwards to Adams at second slip.

That was the start of a disastrous four over spell for the visitors that saw Edwards induce Jake Libby to play on for 16 and then bowl nightwatchman Milnes for two.

Berg also claimed a success, having Nash caught taken behind the stumps for one.

The experienced duo of Samit Patel and captain Mullaney guided the side through to stumps.


Day three of the Third Specsavers Test is sold out, but tickets still remain available for day four, starting from just £20. Secure your seats by clicking here...