Taylor ton makes Hampshire toil
Nottinghamshire batsman Brendan Taylor scored his third ton of the summer, as the visitors made Hampshire toil on day three at the Ageas Bowl.
Taylor put on 164 with England one-day star Alex Hales – himself scoring a quality 94 – as Notts lead by 391 going into the final day.
The Zimbabwean, who started his first season with the Midlands county with centuries against Loughborough and Middlesex, moved to three figures in 115 balls.
The 29-year-old Taylor was gifted an early let off as Danny Briggs put down a simple chance at midwicket – the batsman on seven at the time.
Gareth Berg, who celebrated his 150th first class wicket on Sunday, made a quick breakthrough when he managed to trap Steven Mullaney in front.
Hales began as he ended his first innings where he scored an excellent 141 by getting off the mark with a beautifully timed cut shot to the boundary.
Hales received a series of good fortune. He was dropped while sweeping to James Tomlinson before Berg gave him a second life when he failed to hit the stumps with a run out opportunity.
Taylor – who retired from his national side to play for Notts – collected his 50 off 78 deliveries and Hales reached the same score, four balls quicker, soon after.
Taylor played a series of stunning reverse sweeps and drives and reached 103 before he was struck plumb in front to spinner Liam Dawson to end a stunning knock.
James Taylor joined Hales at the crease, the pair celebrating call-ups for England’s one-dayer with Ireland next week, which the former will skipper.
Hales continued his onslaught but narrowly missed out on a second ton of the match when he offered a simple caught and bowled to Dawson – he now has over 500 County Championship runs and 666 for the season.
Samit Patel loosely flicked to mid-wicket with three overs left in the day before James Taylor picked up his third 50 of the year off 63 balls. Notts closed on 296 for four with James Taylor unbeaten on 53.
The home side resumed on 167-4 in the morning, and Adam Wheater scored all nine of the early runs before Will Gidman trapped him in front for 14.
England U19 bowler Luke Wood – who ended the innings with career best figures of 3-68 – managed to get the ball to nip back off the seam to bowl former Notts batsman Will Smith. And just one more run had been scored before Berg returned to the pavilion, edging behind.
Danny Briggs and Sean Ervine, who was again required to bail out the shaky Hampshire upper order with a solid 31, fell either side of lunch.
The attacking Andre Adams was the final man to depart, also hitting 31, before being bowled by Jake Ball, who returned to the attack after recovering from a back spasm yesterday.
Hampshire ended their innings with a first innings deficit of 95 runs, reaching 276.
A draw is the most likely result on the final day, but Nottinghamshire will fancy their chances of bowling the hosts out for a second time.
Hampshire batsman James Vince, who received his first England call-up, said: “I was delighted when I got the call.
“I think in the last couple years I have scored a good number of runs and then a good winter certainly helped.
“I felt in good batting form here yesterday until I ran myself out and I think I’m in a good place.
“Hopefully I will get a score tomorrow to try and claw us back into this game. It is a good opportunity to get a big score.
“There’s a bit of weather around and I guess they will declare overnight. We’ll have to bat the day out to get something from the game.
“On day one when we won the toss and bowled that was probably when there was most in the wicket but we didn’t bowl consistently enough.
“The wicket has got easier paced for the batters so I’m confident going into tomorrow we’ll see out the game.”
Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales said: “I was very disappointed, especially how I got out. I had all the leg side to aim for and I picked out the bowler.
“I’m trying not to think about getting 1,000 runs by the end of May, I am just taking each game as it comes. We have a couple more games so I’ll try and score as many runs as I can.
“Our batting unit is as strong as it ever has been. The guys are in great form and it was great to carry that form into today.
“We will look to bowl straight away in the morning and look to take 10 wickets and hopefully the bowlers can back us up.”
Hales, who was also picked for England’s ODI with Ireland next week added: “I was frustrated with how the winter went, personally and as a team. If you look at this ODI squad there are plenty of new young faces who can hopefully bring a new positive attitude.
“I have only had a small taste of ODI cricket but I feel like I’m playing as well as I every have done. Hopefully I can take the step up to the ODI squad properly.”