Gates open to 1,300 Hampshire members as rain curtails opening day at Southampton
Hampshire 53 for 1 (Holland 24*, Wright 1-13) vs Leicestershire
A torrential downpour after lunch saw play abandoned on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship clash between Hampshire and Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire were 53 for 1 when the decision was taken to call off play for the day due to a saturated outfield after an early tea had been taken, with Ian Holland unbeaten on 24 and Tom Alsop 15 not out in front of 1,300 Hampshire members.
The start of the match, which is the first in England to host paying spectators since September 2019, was delayed due to soggy ground on the bowlers’ run-ups, with visiting skipper Colin Ackermann winning the toss and choosing to field before play got underway at noon.
Chris Wright and Alex Evans bowled well without luck before the struggling Joe Weatherley edged a decent delivery from Wright to Ackermann at slip for 11.
The former England U-19 captain has endured a tough season at the top of the order where he averages 15.81 from his last 11 innings and remains the only player in Hampshire’s top-six not to post a half-century this season.
Holland should have followed his opening partner back to the pavilion when Wright tempted him with a wide delivery only for Rishi Patel to put the chance down just before lunch.
Alsop and Holland put on 33 runs for the second wicket before play was abandoned at 4pm.
“It’s been a long time without a crowd and it did feel a bit different but really nice as well,” Holland said. “It’s great to have the supporters back and really important we get back to feeling quite normal out there.
“It’s quite tough batting out there, we just need to get as many runs as we can and hopefully we can bowl well and see how the game progresses.”
Ackermann lamented the missed opportunity to get Holland out.
“If we are being highly critical we would have liked maybe another two wickets, although we did create that chance that went down,” he said. “We bowled well enough to pick up three wickets for the session. It is doing a bit when the ball is in the right area so moving into tomorrow we just need to control the scoreboard.”