Coming away from the weather that has bedivilled the who country, so nine counties are visited or are visiting the Cape region of South Africa, Somerset are currently staying in the same hotel as Hampshire. This getaway to the sun gives the clubs much needed outdoor practise away from saturated county grounds.
Imagine then the frustrations when at Stellenbosch University, some 40km outside Cape Town, the Hampshire sides had to sit out 2 hours 30 minutes of rain on the first day of their 3 day practise match.
Hampshire fielded two sides for the match, A Robin Smith's XI and a Will Kendall's XI, with eight Hampshire players on each side, and six Stellenbosch University players making up the numbers for each side.
Kendall's side winning the toss, batted first in overcast conditions, and soon lost Andrew Sexton who was trapped lbw by Alex Morris. Giles White and Kendall then put on 87, before the sides skipper glanced the ball to Laney at backward point of the bowling of Morne Cloete, one of the guest players. White was next to go when he was caught by the diving Adi Aymes off Irfin Shah. Shah struck again soon after by having Stellenbosch's batsman Benjamin Hector lbw, and completed a tidy pre-lunch spell by having Laurence Prittipaul caught at point for an attractive 30.
The first rain in the region for 3 months fell as the players were having lunch with the score 142-5, and it was not until 3:40 that play could resume.
Shaun Udal and James Hamblin batted well and shared a 56 run partnership, Udal being particularly harsh on Shah, stiking him for three fours in an over. Udal was finally out for 38 when he was bowled by an inswinger from Simon Francis. Hamblin who made a very intelligent 40* by the close saw off the close of play with wicket-keeper Iain Brunnschweiler (15*).
Shah finished with three for 97, but was bedeviled with no ball problems, bowling 14 in all.
COP: 1st Day: WS Kendall's XI 249-6 (70 overs) (White 47, Kendall 37, Prittipaul 30, Udal 38, Hamblin 40*, Shah 3-97).