Hameed’s grind brings release from torturous season

Lancashire 149 (Crane 3-27) and 314 for 5 (Davies 97, Hameed 77*) lead Hampshire 224 by 239 runs

Haseeb Hameed made his first-class debut for Lancashire Getty Images

Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed netted his highest score of the season to battle his way back into England contention after Alex Davies had crashed a stylish 97 in the Specsavers County Championship with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The opening pair had a Jewell and Hyde of styles with Davies battering his way to 97 from 92 balls, while Hameed ended the day on 77 from a mammoth 219 deliveries.

The contrast in run making helped Lancashire to a lead of 239 at the end of the second day – having been bowled out for 149 on day one.

Davies’ innings oozed quality as he counter-attacked with power and style – wiping away Hampshire’s 75-run lead quickly.

The 22-year-old drove, cut and pulled regularly with almost exemplary timing on each occasion.

He passed 50 for the 15th time in his career, from 47-balls with a meaty pull shot, but for the third time in his career fell in the 90s.

After all his stroke play, Davies was dismissed playing a forward defensive which clipped his bat and ballooned to a short-leg position where James Vince swooped to hold a diving catch.

Vince had been given the wicket-keeping gloves early in the Lancashire innings after Lewis McManus copped an awkward bounce on his finger – latter Isle of Wight raised Calvin Dickinson rushed back from a second XI match to step in.

While Davies had been at constant ease with himself and the pitch, Hameed retreated into his shell – and showcased the defensive like batting which earned him his England debut

Again he took half an hour to score his first run but in front of England selector James Whittaker he batted with guts and patience.

Hameed, who before this game boasted an average of 104 against Hampshire, collected his half century in over 100 balls more than Davies, at 154 deliveries, but was measured, serene and completely chanceless.

After Davies had departed, Liam Livingstone started slowly before accelerating into his usual quick pace for 40 – before he was lbw to Abbott.

Dane Vilas was bowled by a beautiful full ball from Mason Crane before Shivnarive Chanderpaul was caught at short-leg by Jimmy Adams off Dawson, and Jos Buttler was lbw to Fidel Edwards.

Hameed out-lived them all in his five hour vigil, allowed them to express themselves, in his epic innings as he ground himself into form – and potentially towards a Test recall.

Another day of constant wickets appeared to be on the cards, after 15 fell on the first day, as Kyle Jarvis went through the Hampshire lower order.

The Zimbabwean has Ian Holland lbw, three balls after he had been dropped by Buttler at second slip, and Gareth Berg caught at third slip.

He completed his best figures for Lancashire, and the County Championship by having Abbott and Mason Crane caught behind – ending with analysis of six for 61.

But Jarvis, and Lancashire, were made to endure a frustrating final wicket stand of 45 between Dawson and Edwards.

Dawson, who was the difference between the two first innings scores with his 75, played the strike taker as Edwards carefully did what he was told.

The England spinner was the first batsman to look at ease as he struck the match’s first half century, from 76 balls – but the stand ended when leg-spinner Matt Parkinson bowled him.

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