Hampshire v Lancashire, Rose Bowl, 1st day May 24, 2011

Cork four keeps Lancashire in check

Lancashire 328 v Hampshire

Batsman Karl Brown came within four runs of his second century of the season as County Championship Division One leaders Lancashire were made to work hard for their successes by struggling hosts Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

Brown, who scored 114 against Sussex at the start of the season, was Lancashire's top scorer with 96 in difficult batting conditions as the visitors were bowled out for 328. Last man Gary Keedy was trapped lbw by former Lancashire bowler Dominic Cork with two balls of the scheduled day's play remaining.

Cork chose to field first on a green-tinged wicket and was rewarded when he removed Paul Horton, who was caught at third slip by James Vince with the last ball of Cork's first over. David Griffiths made the most of the conditions by dismissing Horton's opening partner Stephen Moore, who edged behind to Nic Pothas on 18 and then removing Mark Chilton (seven) to leave the visitors' total on 65 for 3.

Brown was unbeaten with 51 at lunch when Lancashire were 96 without further loss and the conditions began to ease in the afternoon session as Brown and Steven Croft put on 100 for the fourth wicket in 30 overs.

Lancashire went into the match without their experienced all-rounder Glen Chapple who had a knee injury while for Hampshire French-born batsman Benny Howell was making his championship debut and Dimitri Mascarenhas was playing in his first four-day match for 21 months. Briggs dismissed Croft with a successful appeal for lbw while sweeping but the crucial wicket was that of Brown.

The irrepressible Cork brought an end to Brown's innings with the Lancashire total on 183, inducing an edge as he attempted to pull and giving wicketkeeper Nic Pothas time to run around and complete the catch.

Brown faced 174 balls and hit 14 fours but Lancashire were in no mood to throw away his solid contribution. Tom Smith was Cork's third victim, out for 17 when he was snapped up by the diving Jimmy Adams at second slip but Hampshire found it difficult to remove an obdurate tail.

Kabir Ali had Gareth Cross caught behind also mistiming a pull but then came an important stand of 68 for the eighth wicket. Hampshire were held up as Sajid Mahmood and Kyle Hogg got in the way before Griffiths returned to bowl Mahmood for 32 and a ball later Hogg, who had hit eight fours in his 38, was out lbw to Kabir.

Even then the Lancashire resistance was not over as last pair Keedy and Oliver Newby put on 32 precious runs until Cork struck for the fourth time in the final over. Cork finished the most successful of the Hampshire bowlers with 4 for 78 while Griffiths took 3 for 82.