Steve Mullaney hits ton to rescue Nottinghamshire at Hampshire

Steven Mullaney hit a brilliant century to prevent a Notts collapse.
Steven Mullaney hit a brilliant century to prevent a Notts collapse.

Nottinghamshire all-rounder Steven Mullaney became the first player to score a first-class century on the Isle of Wight since Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie as he produced a rear guard innings to frustrate Hampshire at Newclose.

Skipper Mullaney dragged his side out of two collapses to reach an exceptional 14th first-class century, despite surviving three drops.

Legendary Hampshire talisman Ingleby-Mackenzie had been the last to top three figures on the Island in 1961, his 132 not out is the highest score on the Island.

Mullaney’s heroics handed Nottinghamshire a 71-run first innings deficit, which was increased to 74 by the end of the day.

After an overcast first day at Newclose, the sun shone brightly to create an even more festival atmosphere – increased by a batch of partisan Australian students armed with an airhorn.

Hampshire were bowled out for 310 within the first hour of the day before Nottinghamshire stuttered in response.

Openers Ben Slater and Ben Duckett both departed within the first 10 overs, the former cut onto his own stumps while the latter edged behind.

Chris Nash was undone by Kyle Abbott as his misjudged a pull shot to loop a simple catch to Sam Northeast at mid-on, before the South African fast bowler castled Joe Clarke.

Nottinghamshire were left staring at the follow-on target of 160 when Jake Libby was leg-before to Keith Barker as they slumped to 72 for five.

The signs for a Nottinghamshire fightback were put in place by Mullaney and Tom Moores in an attractive 79-runs partnership.

But Moores’ departure, caught behind while attempting to pull, sparked another mini-collapse.

Luke Fletcher was lbw to Barker and Stuart Broad yorked by Fidel Edwards as Nottinghamshire slid from 151 for five to 159 for eight.

That is when Mullaney took control, accompanied by Matt Carter.

Mullaney was given lives not once, not twice but three times during an otherwise hard-working innings.

On 25 he picked out Joe Weatherley at first slip, on 49 he smacked the ball straight to Aneurin Donald at midwicket and then on 80 he nicked behind for a regulation keeper catch. All three were shelled.

Mullaney brought up his 40th first-class fifty in 113 balls before providing a peacock’s flourish by dismissing Mason Crane for a huge six over mid-wicket.

Carter had obediently obeyed his captain in a vital 80-run stand for the ninth wicket before he was lbw to Edwards – who ended with figures of three for 49, with Abbott and Barker also pilfering three times.

Mullaney then reached his magnificent century in 165 with another maximum but the innings was brought to a close on 102 when he top edged a caught an bowled back to Ian Holland – Nottinghamshire bowled out for 239.

Joe Weatherley was lbw to Fletcher in a tricky six over period as Hampshire ended the day on three for one.

Earlier, Fletcher followed up his five-wicket haul against Essex with impressive figures of four for 79 – as Hampshire lost their last four wickets in 35 morning minutes.

Fletcher struck in the fourth over of the morning when Ian Holland nicked behind, before Keith Barker followed two balls later when a thicker edge found second slip.

Aneurin Donald had appeared on course to a second Specsavers County Championship half century for Hampshire when he brilliantly swatted Fletcher to the boundary.

But from the other end Broad found a slight piece of the Welshman’s bat as he departed for 46.

Hampshire were bowled out for 310 when Fidel Edwards fended to short cover – the visitors claiming four wickets in 26 balls and Fletcher three in 14 deliveries.