James Vince flatters to deceive as Rikki Clarke keeps Surrey in contention

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Hampshire 222 for 7 (Holland 51, Clarke 5-52) v Surrey

James Vince illustrated the dilemma he poses for England's selectors on a rain-affected day one of Hampshire's Specsavers County Championship match with hosts Surrey at The Oval.

With selector James Taylor in attendance, Vince, playing just his third Championship fixture of the season, unleashed some trademark cover drives to make 47 out of the visitors total of 222 for 7 - this after the first session was lost to heavy mid-morning rain. However, the Hampshire skipper was given a life when dropped at slip on 40 by Scott Borthwick before a second loose stroke against the bowling of Morne Morkel saw him snaffled by Ben Foakes three short of 50.

So, as with so many of his innings in an England shirt this was another to file in the drawer marked 'nice cameo'. Instead it was Surrey's Rikki Clarke who stole the headlines with a season's best 5 for 52 as Surrey had the best of an absorbing day's cricket.

Despite the morning rain delaying play until 1.10pm, Vince elected to contest the toss and had no hesitation in batting having won it. Openers Ian Holland and Felix Organ, both of whom made maiden first-class centuries in July, justified his decision by negotiating the new ball, though not without a number of alarms.

Holland in particular rode his luck, most notably when dropped on 12 when slashing England seamer Sam Curran to Jordan Clark in the gully.

He survived another scare on 19 when attempting to pull a short one from Clarke he got a top edge, the ball just evading the clutches of Ben Foakes as he ran back towards the boundary from his place behind the stumps. Adding insult to injury, Holland then edged another at catchable height through the slips later in the over.

However, it was Organ who was first to go, brilliantly caught by Foakes off Jordan Clark with the score at 73.

Vince was immediately in the groove, smiting three glorious fours off Morkel in the 27th over. At the other end, Holland appeared to have settled after his early sketchiness and raised his 50 with his seventh boundary and at 110 for 1 Hampshire were sitting pretty. However, Clarke changed the course of the afternoon with two wickets in five balls, trapping Holland in front for 51 before sending Sam Northeast packing for just 6, meaning Hampshire were 116-3 at tea.

Rille Rossouw came out bristling with aggression, but after striking Clarke for successive boundaries he became the veteran seamer's third victim, hitting another drive into the midriff of Mark Stoneman at cover. And Vince didn't make the most of his reprieve, Morkel extracting revenge for his earlier punishment, though the Hampshire skipper will reflect it was a ball he should have left alone.

The floodlights were soon on and runs slowed to a trickle before bad light intervened with more than 18 overs remaining. Ten overs were lost before the players before in bright sunshine, allowing Clarke to claim a fourth victim, pinning Liam Dawson plumb lbw. And his five-for was completed when Aneurin Donald nicked one through to Foakes, giving the stand-in skipper his third catch of the day.

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