LEICESTER, England, CMC – Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan stroked a half-century in his first innings of the County season as Leicestershire made a strong reply against Hampshire on the second day of the Division Two encounter yesterday.
The elegant right-hander, who is the Leicestershire captain, top scored with an attractive 60, an innings which carried the hosts to 296 for nine in their first innings at the close, in reply to Hampshire’s 332.
Leicestershire enter the third day of the game needed a further 37 runs to overhaul their target.
Sarwan, who has been sidelined by a back injury, showed little effects from the layoff as he strung together a couple of partnerships to keep Leicestershire in the hunt early in the innings at Grace Road.
The Guyanese built on a good foundation after Leicestershire reached 92 for two, adding 37 for the third wicket with Ned Eckersley (34) and a further 58 for the fourth wicket with Josh Cobb (37).
Sarwan faced 81 balls in 92 minutes at the crease and struck nine and a six, playing some crisp strokes as Leicestershire scored briskly. He hammered seamer Matt Coles over cover for four to raise the 100 and then drove to the mid-on boundary off the very next ball.
He took a particular liking to Coles, driving and cutting the 23-year-old for two more boundaries and picked up another four when he cut left-arm spinner Danny Briggs to the ropes.
In the penultimate over before the tea break, Sarwan cleared the ropes at mid-wicket with James Vince to go to break unbeaten on 60, with Leicestershire on 187 for three.
He failed to add after the break, however, skying the first ball on resumption to Coles at mid-wicket off South Africa seamer Kyle Abbott.
Rob Taylor then propped up the innings with 53 from 71 balls.
Earlier, Hampshire added just 11 runs after they resumed on 321 for eight.