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Gubbins frustrates Lancashire as Hampshire hold out for draw

Visitors' hopes of blowing Hampshire away quickly hit by morning rain

Nick Gubbins was in the runs for Hampshire, Northants vs Hampshire, Northampton, County Championship, 1st day, April 20, 2023

Nick Gubbins offered stubborn resistance  •  Getty Images

Hampshire 367 (Dawson 86, Prest 85, Vince 56, Gubbins 50) and 179 for 4 (Gubbins 69*, Prest 45*) drew with Lancashire 484 (Jennings 172, Bell 99, Dawson 4-156)
Nick Gubbins batted out the final day to make sure Hampshire and Lancashire drew their Vitality County Championship fixture at the Utilita Bowl - and maintained the visitors' unbeaten record on the ground.
Gubbins added an unbeaten 69 to his first-innings 50 in a four-and-a-half-hour vigil to nullify any threat of a Hampshire collapse and a result - with James Vince and Tom Prest equally stubborn in their resistance.
Lancashire picked up one extra point to Hampshire's 12, with both sides shaking off their rain-affected openers with more shared points.
It did, however, extend the Red Roses' record of not losing a first-class away match at Hampshire to 35 years - with the last home success coming at Portsmouth in 1989.
Any hopes of Lancashire forcing a result by blowing away Hampshire quickly were kyboshed by no play possible in the morning due to a rain shower which left the run-ups temporarily unusable.
In all 24 overs were lost from the day before the visitors set about hoping to add the final eight wickets to avoid the otherwise inevitable draw in strong winds.
George Bell had spoken the previous evening about how excited he has been for fielding at short leg to Nathan Lyon, despite being in the firing line for the angle the ball is turning. He got his wish to share a line on the scorecard with the legendary Australian spinner when nightwatcher Kyle Abbott clipped the 16th ball of the day to the 21-year-old under the helmet.
Any chance of the hosts collapsing from that point ended with Gubbins and Vince occupying the crease for the next two hours - and in Gubbins' case, beyond.
Lyon, who had claimed three first-inning wickets in 38 overs, tried everything to spark a flurry of wickets with the Kookaburra ball. He teased Vince with different flights - tempting the Hampshire skipper to almost hole out to long on - he flirted with front pads and he created his own rough at either end of the pitch so he could have a patch to aim at wherever he was bowling. His battle with Vince also saw the batter bottom-edge a sweep, which trickled past his stumps.
Finally, Lyon made an unlikely turn towards Bazball for inspiration when he tried switching the bails. It turns out that specific magic can only be conjured by Stuart Broad.
More Lancashire tricks of a 7-2 leg-side field and Tom Bailey bowling spin to the left-handed Gubbins and his usual pace to the right-handed Vince, also didn't produce returns.
Vince and Gubbins were steadfast in their 66-run partnership to showcase their vast Championship experience. Both had scored half-centuries in the first innings, although Vince failed to reach the landmark in the second dig as Lyon pinned him lbw to dismiss him in both innings.
Gubbins scored twin centuries the last time Lancashire came to the Utilita Bowl in 2019. He half-replicated that with twin half-centuries, this time coming in 135 balls.
Tom Prest, another first-innings fifty-maker, simply continued where Vince left off - although was unafraid to plonk half-trackers over the ropes for six to end up unbeaten on 45.
The inevitable handshakes came at 16:50 BST, after a short rain delay, to signal the draw.

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