Hampshire, Durham consider deal in rain-ruined match
Hampshire 230 for 6 v Durham
Durham skipper Phil Mustard will consider trying to do a deal with Hampshire's acting captain, Jimmy Adams, on the final day of the rain-ruined County Championship match at Chester-le-Street. After only 30 overs were bowled on the first two days, play began at 1pm and Hampshire moved on from 77 for 3 to 230 for 6 before bad light ended play at 4.58pm.
"I think they are quite keen to do something," said Mustard. "We were tempted to try for full bonus points, which would have put us 17 points clear at the top.
"But we don't have time to get them and our rivals have games in hand, so we would like to go for a win if possible. It's in our favour that we are batting last and we would try to knock off a target."
Despite a fine innings of 90 by Neil McKenzie and a brisk half-century from Dimitri Mascarenhas, Hampshire's overall run rate is 2.77 runs an over. The one batting point they have gained still leaves them 49 points adrift of safety and if they are to have any hope at all of avoiding relegation they need to win.
Hampshire suffered an early setback today when James Vince retired on 19 after trying to soldier on following a back spasm. Sean Ervine made only 3 before pushing the ball into the covers and failing to beat Mark Stoneman's direct hit.
McKenzie began the day by leg glancing the sixth ball from Callum Thorp for four, taking him to 50. It was the third of his nine boundaries to come from that stroke. Vince drove Graham Onions' first ball to the cover boundary but after surviving a big lbw appeal when a yorker hit him on the foot he was soon in trouble and needed treatment from the physio.
When Chris Rushworth replaced Onions his first ball was greeted by a short-arm pull as McKenzie took two fours off his first over. The South African continued to dominate and had made 90 out of a total of 143 when Rushworth moved one away from a perfect length to have him caught behind.
Wicketkeeper Michael Bates then dug in to help Mascarenhas add 72. The former England one-day man drove strongly, hitting nine fours in his 64-ball half-century before edging Mitch Claydon to Mustard. Bates reached 28 off 99 balls and needs three more to equal his best score.