County Championship: Hampshire batters set platform against Northants

Felix Organ

LV= County Championship Division One, The Ageas Bowl (day one):
Hampshire 229-5: Organ 71, White 2-35
Northants: Yet to bat
Hampshire 1 pt, Northants 1 pt

Felix Organ continued his fine form with 71 as County Championship title-chasing Hampshire batted out a truncated even day with Northamptonshire.

Opening batter Organ ended the Royal London Cup with a 54 in the semi-final against Kent Spitfires, having scored 72, 118, 41 and 65 in his last four Championship matches.

He also almost single-handedly helped his club side, Winchester-based St Cross Symondians, to the ECB Southern Premier League title on Saturday with a masterful 135, in addition to four wickets.

Against Northamptonshire, he put on 50-stands with Joe Weatherley and Nick Gubbins to take Hampshire to 229-5 at close – with Jack White claiming 2-35.

Organ started the season batting at number seven, in the team predominantly for his off-spin option in the fourth innings.

But after Weatherley damaged his finger in the slips against Lancashire, he was promoted to open – his more familiar position – and immediately made an impact with a century.

He slumped with a lean spell but arrived in this match averaging 46 in his previous seven innings.

Having been put in by Will Young on a green-tinged wicket and seen his opening partner Ian Holland edge to second slip to the first ball he faced, Organ faced a great deal of pressure.

But the 23-year-old was compact with the ball nipping around, with Ben Sanderson particularly finding good subtle movement to find the outside edge of Weatherley’s bat to again find Emilio Gay at second slip.

Organ set up deep in his crease with an off-stump guard, and knew exactly where his stumps were, even if there were regular plays and misses from either end either side of the early lunch – with rain and bad light eventually lobbing 34 overs off the day.

He particularly peppered the off side although his fifty came up with a sumptuous straight drive off 88 balls.

With him, Gubbins and James Vince showed moments of their carefree nature but failed to capitalise on solid starts.

Luke Procter entered the attack, got cut for four by Gubbins but found movement in off the seam to bowl the left-hander for 23, while Vince was caught behind for 19.

Organ eventually departed when he failed to move his feet to White and feathered off the under-toe of the bat to Ricardo Vasconcelos.

But Liam Dawson and Aneurin Donald briskly put on 62 unbeaten runs, with the latter often showing glamour with his driving ability before the light worsened to end play just after 18:00 BST.

Hampshire are hoping to get a jump of title rivals Surrey in this round of fixture, but the forecast is not looking too kind to their bid for a first Championship since 1973.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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