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Hants schoolboy sets another record
7:21pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
Hampshire’s latest academy graduate become their youngest-ever LV County Championship player when he made his debut against Lancashire.
At 16 years 167 days, Brad Taylor broke Hampshire legend Alex Kennedy’s 1907 record by just one day, a week after becoming the county’s youngest player since 1867 when he played against the same opponents in the YB40 at Old Trafford.
Southport was the setting for off-spinner Taylor’s first-class debut and he finished the day with 0-42 from eight overs as Lancashire closed on 296-8 against a persevering Hampshire attack including debutant Matt Coles, on loan from Kent.
James Tomlinson, playing his first game since becoming a dad for the first time, was the pick of the bowlers with 3-56 from 23 overs.
Half-centuries by Luis Reece, Ashwell Prince and Luke Procter helped Lancashire make solid progress on a fluctuating first day, which ended with Procter unbeaten on 65, his fifth successive Championship fifty.
Only in the last hour or so before lunch, when 109 runs were scored off 19 overs, was batting made to look a straightforward as Prince and Reece milked the visiting attack in a 120-run stand which occupied just 26 overs.
Prior to that partnership, 24 runs had been scored off the opening 14 overs of the match and the same number were garnered off the 17 overs after the first interval, as Andrea Agathangelou and Steven Croft sought to rebuild the innings after the departures of Prince for 63 and Reece for 50 either side of lunch.
The pair's laborious efforts ended when Croft was caught by Michael Roberts at short leg off Liam Dawson for nine and Agathangelou followed three overs later for 30 when he could only fend Matt Coles to James Vince at third slip.
Jimmy Adams's attack maintained their stranglehold in the rest of an afternoon session which saw only 74 runs scored off 33 overs despite the outground's short boundaries and fast outfield.
After tea, Tom Smith's watchful 28 off 55 balls was ended when he pulled Dawson straight to Vince at mid-wicket but Gareth Cross supplied some late aggression when he hit Tomlinson for four successive boundaries just after Hampshire had taken the new ball.
The wicketkeeper-batsman's cameo was ended on 26, though, when he limply edged Tomlinson to Sean Ervine at first slip to give the seamer a deserved third wicket.
Indeed, apart from the hour before lunch, Adams' bowlers stuck to their task well on a wicket which contained few demons. Debutant Matt Coles bowled a hostile second spell in the afternoon session and slow left-armer Dawson claimed two for 50 in 16 reasonably tight overs. Hampshire also managed the rare feat of bowling 97 overs in six hours' cricket.
But with Procter still at the crease, Lancashire may even hope to collect a fourth batting bonus point on the second morning of a match in which victory for the league leaders would all but clinch promotion.
*Hampshire’s YB40 semi-final against Glamorgan will be played at The Ageas Bowl on Saturday September 7 (12.45pm).
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