County Championship: Rains limits Hampshire and Leicestershire to just 26.2 overs as fans return

Rain hit the first day of Hampshire and Leicestershire’s LV= Insurance County Championship Group 2 clash at The Ageas Bowl as fans witnessed just 26.2 overs of play.

The game marks the first cricket match in England to host paying spectators since September 2019 with coronavirus restrictions having been lifted further at the start of this week.

Hampshire closed a rain-shortened day on 53-1, with Ian Holland (24no) and Tom Alsop (15no) adding an unbroken 33 after Leicestershire seamer Chris Wright had Joe Weatherley (11) caught at slip.

  • Scorecard: Hampshire vs Leicestershire

A special moment ❤️😁

The players make their way to the middle to rapturous applause here at @TheAgeasBowl 👏

🏏 Wright on the money in @CountyChamp! Hampshire 29-1 from 14 overs after losing Weatherley for 11 off 28 balls. #HAMvLEI #LVCountyChamp

🎥 – @ECB_Cricket 👍

Latest scorecard here 👇

A wet outfield meant play started an hour late in Southampton at 12pm, with 1,300 Hampshire members then seeing Weatherley snick Wright behind to Colin Ackermann at the end of the ninth over with the hosts having been inserted after losing the toss.

Holland and Alsop steadied Hampshire from 20-1 – albeit that Holland was dropped by Rishi Patel off the bowling of Wright – but an hour after lunch the players were forced from the field by a downpour and did not return, with stumps called around 4pm due to a saturated outfield.

Holland said at stumps: “It’s been a long time without a crowd and it did feel a bit different but really nice as well. It’s great to have the supporters back and really important we get back to feeling quite normal out there.”

Hampshire are looking for their fourth win in seven games this season, while Leicestershire are hunting their first victory having drawn three and lost two of their five matches so far.

Surrey vs Middlesex

May 20, 2021, 10:30am

Live on

This week’s seven other County Championship matches begin on Thursday, including the Group 2 games between Surrey and Middlesex at The Kia Oval and Gloucestershire and Somerset in Bristol.

Surrey vs Middlesex will be shown live on Sky Sports – our coverage starts at 10.30am – with Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton, Ebony Rainford-Brent and Mark Butcher part of the commentary team.

Watch Surrey vs Middlesex live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Thursday.

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