sport

Rain delays Hampshire chase

Hampshire made 48 without loss in response to Leicestershire's 303 all out as rain and then bad light meant only 10 overs were possible at the Ageas Bowl on Monday.

Leicestershire resumed their first innings on 301 for nine from 97 overs and lasted six more balls before Charlie Shreck was caught in the slips by Jimmy Adams for 20 from the last ball of Matt Coles' over.

Coles, expensive on the opening day, finished with figures of four for 108 from 20 overs at the fall of Shreck's wicket, his last-wicket partnership with debut-making Atif Sheikh having gleaned 26 valuable and unexpected runs.

This flurry of action came after rain had washed out the morning session so that play did not even get under way until 1.30pm.

Hampshire, anxious to cling on to second place and with it promotion, were only three balls into their response and not a run on the board when rain drove the players into the pavilion for another two hours.

When they did get back on, Hampshire got as far as tea at 18 for no wicket only for the resumption to be further delayed by bad light.

When at last there was some prolonged activity, openers Adams and Michael Carberry wasted no time in attacking the new ball attack of Shreck and Sheikh with renewed gusto.

Sheikh, a left-arm seamer once with Derbyshire, was playing because of injury to leading wicket-taker Nathan Buck and the newcomer struggled for length and line in the gathering gloom.

Adams smashed three fours from a single Sheikh over and had seven boundaries total during his unbeaten 29 when umpires Martin Saggers and Peter Willey were obliged to take the players off again for bad light, this time terminal in respect of play for the second day.

Carberry, more cautious, had scored 10 not out and going into the third day, Hampshire are 255 in arrears with much still to play for.

Bottom-placed Leicestershire are looking for their first win of the season and their first away since 2010 while Hampshire are searching for their sixth victory of the campaign, vital at this late stage of the season.