Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Spin Star Ajmal Has Hampshire Reeling At New Road

Spin Star Ajmal Has Hampshire Reeling At New Road

Worcestershire spin wizard Saeed Ajmal weaved his magic with another seven wicket haul as Hampshire were forced to follow on after being dismissed for 219 on the third day of the LV = County Championship encounter at New Road.

Ajmal followed his career best figures of 7-19 in the previous home match against Essex three weeks ago with a return of 7-63 from 21.5 overs.

It took the wicket tally of the 36-year-old to 36 in six Championship games with the county this summer.

Worcestershire also claimed maximum bowling points for the eighth successive Championship match this summer and the visitors were left with a deficit of 183.

Heavy rain immediately started to fall at the end of the Hampshire innings but they eventually returned at 5.45pm with 14 overs left.

Ajmal made another breakthrough in the penultimate over of the day when skipper Jimmy Adams played the sweep shot and was trapped lbw for nine.

Hampshire finished on 31-1 still 152 in arrears and will have only eight more wickets to protect as spinner Danny Briggs has returned south because of the impending birth of his first child. 

Hampshire were well placed at 107-1 at one stage in their first innings but then lost their last nine wickets for 112 in 32 overs – and the last four for 14 runs.

They had resumed on 10-1 in their first innings after losing Michael Carberry to the first ball of the innings yesterday evening.

 Adams was fortunate on four when he miscued Charlie Morris just short of Matt Pardoe at mid-wicket. Then the same player on 15 survived a confident lbw shout from Joe Leach.

Ajmal was first introduced into the attack at the New Road at 71-1 after 23 overs but bowled only three overs before switching ends to reap havoc.

Will Smith reached his half century off 103 balls with nine fours out of 93-1 in the 30th over.

The 100 partnership between Smith and Adams came up in 31 overs before they were both ousted by Ajmal before lunch.

Adams (40) was lbw sweeping and Smith (67) was bowled after trying to pull a quicker and flatter delivery to the last ball before lunch with the total on 114.

Glenn Maxwell and James Vince adapted an aggressive approach after the interval and added 48 in 10 overs.

But from 162-3 the game turned in Worcestershire's favour as Maxwell (24) was adjudged lbw after trying to help a ball from Ajmal around the corner and Sean Ervine (0) pushed forward three balls later and was lbw to the Pakistan star.

Vince (48) gave Leach his first wicket of the innings when he hooked the ball into the hands of Pardoe inside the mid wicket boundary.

The remainder of the innings subsided quickly with Michael Bates (11) – caught behind by Ben Cox – and Matt Coles (19) lbw to Ajmal.

Charlie Morris bowled David Balcombe for a duck and Ajmal ended the innings by bowling Danny Briggs (5). Jack Shantry (1-30), Morris (1-49) and Leach (1-47) were the other wicket-takers.