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The Electronic Telegraph Hampshire v Indians, Match Report
David Green - 29Jun-01 July 1996

Day 2: James achieves unique feat

Second day of three: Hants (383-9) lead the Indians (362-5 dec) by 21 runs

Fine batting from Jason Laney (100) and Kevan James (103), plus some adhesive performances elsewhere, enabled Hampshire to gain a narrow first-innings lead over India on a placid pitch at Southampton yesterday.

India's out-cricket was, to say the least, variable, but their burly seamer, Salil Ankola, pegged away industriously to take four for 107 and we also had the pleasure of watching three spinners in Narendra Hirwani, Venkatapathy Raju and Anil Kum- ble.

All three had substantial spells and it seems likely that India will take two spinners into Thursday's third Test at Trent Bridge, with Raju, on yesterday's form, slightly the more likely to offer support to Kumble.

This match has turned into something of a showpiece for James, whose feat on Saturday of taking four wickets in four balls was only the 31st such instance in the game's long history.

No-one had previously added a century to a four-in-four, so James finds himself at 35 the holder of a unique record.

His innings was typically watchful, taking 3.5 hours and in- cluding 10 fours and three straight sixes off Hirwani. Laney, a stocky right-hander, showed greater weight of stroke in hitting 17 fours but scored no faster than James.

Following the departure of both centurions during the period be- fore tea, Hampshire's innings declined pretty swiftly, six wickets falling for 113 before Martin Thursfield, despite plenty of playing and missing, organised some late resis- tance.

Day 3: Milburn makes hay

Hampshire (458-9) drew with the Indians (362-5 dec)

India'S hopes of further batting practice before the third Test at Trent Bridge starting on Thursday were frustrated firstly by Hampshire's last-wicket pair, Stuart Milburn and Martin Thursfield, and then by rain which caused the match to be aban- doned at 2.30pm.

Indeed, showers limited play in the morning to 19 overs, during which Milburn, whose unbeaten 54 was by some way a career- best, and Thursfield advanced Hampshire's score from its over- night 383 to 458 in surprising comfort.

Milburn, 23, who made three championship appearances for Yorkshire last season, has no discernible batting pedigree, but he settled more quickly than his more experienced partner.

Thursfield, on 22 at the start when Milburn had scored one, was soon overhauled as the latter pulled and cut Salil Ankola for boundaries and pulled Sachin Tendulkar for six.

The introduction of Venkatesh Prasad brought no respite and Milburn whipped him through midwicket for three to reach a maiden half-century off only 54 balls.

When rain had the final say, the last-wicket stand was worth 91 and Hampshire had made their highest total against India.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk