Rikki Clarke has now taken five or more wickets in an innings seven times in first-class cricket
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day one):
Hampshire 149: Clarke 5-21, Clark 3-50
Surrey 143-7: Pope 68, Clarke 35*; Barker 3-28
Surrey (3 pts) trail Hampshire (2 pts) by six runs

All-rounder Rikki Clarke claimed his 500th first-class wicket as Surrey bowled out Hampshire for just 149 on the opening day at the Ageas Bowl.

But the home side fought back with the ball to reduce Surrey to 143-7 at the close, despite Ollie Pope’s 68.

Hampshire paid the price for a series of poor strokes as Clarke and Jordan Clark (3-50) cleaned them up.

But Surrey also found batting tough before Pope and Clarke (35 not out) put on 72 to trail by six runs at stumps.

Hampshire began the game fourth in the table, but too far back to seriously challenge Essex and Somerset in the title race, while sixth-placed Surrey need seven points to make certain of their Division One status for next summer.

The home side’s top four all failed to reach double figures on a pitch offering help to the seamers, and James Vince wastefully followed for 15 when he was caught at point off Clark after hitting two fours earlier in the over.

But it was Clarke who proved the biggest threat and Hants were already eight down before Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott, who both made 27, produced the biggest partnership of the innings of 45.

Surrey’s reply began badly when Mark Stoneman failed to deal with a short ball from Fidel Edwards and was caught at slip and they were 61-5 before Pope, who hit eight fours after being overlooked for England’s squad for the fifth Ashes Test, and Clarke steadied the innings.

Pope was eventually lbw to one from Holland which may have kept a little low and Kyle Abbott then trapped Conor McKerr lbw as Hampshire ended the day strongly.

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