Ervine leads Hants recovery

Sean Ervine and Jimmy Adams helped Hampshire recover from a slow start on day three of the Division Two clash with Worcestershire.

The pair provided the cornerstone of Hampshire's 263 - a total that looked unlikely when labouring on 105 for six earlier in the day - before Worcestershire made a solid start to their reply.

The visitors, for whom Jack Shantry took four wickets, were on 103 for one by the close of play, with skipper Daryl Mitchell and England's Moeen Ali at the crease on 44 and 27 respectively and the contest appearing set for a draw.

Hampshire started Tuesday's action, after a completely washed out second day, on 37 for three having been inserted by Worcestershire on Sunday, which had also seen play reduced by rain.

Adams resumed on 32 and soon progressed to his 50, bringing it up with a four to take his side to 65 for three.

But two wickets from consecutive balls by Shantry then pegged Hampshire back, with Adams (67) being caught by Alexei Kervezee and Joe Gatting (zero) by Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

It was another Shantry delivery that subsequently ousted Will Smith for 29, again via a Kohler-Cadmore catch, to leave Hampshire on 105 for six and looking in trouble.

The hosts managed to steady the ship, though, through Adam Wheater and Ervine. They were 136 for six at lunch and the Wheater-Ervine partnership took them to 198 before the former (35) was caught by Kervezee off the bowling of Gareth Andrew.

In the next over, the eighth wicket fell as Matthew Coles (one) was caught and bowled by Moeen.

Shantry took his fourth victim when David Balcombe (23) was caught by Ben Cox, leaving Hampshire on 237 for nine, and Ervine was the final man to go just seven runs shy of his ton, halted by a Kervezee catch off Charlie Morris' delivery.

Worcestershire's response saw Matthew Pardoe removed for 19, but otherwise it was a steady effort as Mitchell and Moeen remained unbeaten at stumps.