LEWIS McManus scored a century on his first-team debut as Hampshire dominated the opening day of their friendly against Cardiff UCCE.
McManus, who is in the first year of a two-year development contract, made 108 (208 balls, 17 fours) as Hampshire began the three-day match on the Ageas Bowl’s Nursery Ground by posting 383-8 declared.
Had the match been granted first-class status (which it is not due to the inclusion of players not registered to Hampshire) McManus would have become only the seventh player to score a hundred on his first-class debut for the county, the others being Cecil Abercrombie (1913), Denis Baldry (1959), Richard Hayward (1981), John Crawley (2002), Shane Watson (2004) and Andy Bichel (2005).
McManus, an England Under-19 international, opened with Aaron West, a trialist who impressed while scoring a century in a Second Eleven Trophy match for the Unicorns last week.
West, 23, was soon caught behind but McManus then shared stands of 199 in 27 overs with Michael Bates and 70 in 30 overs with Joe Gatting as Hampshire dominated after losing the toss.
The 19 year-old from Bournemouth is principally a wicketkeeper-batsman but is playing as a specialist opening batsman in this game, with Bates behind the stumps.
Batting at No. 3, Bates continued his impressive form by starring with the bat, hitting ten fours and two sixes in his 80-ball 64.
And Tom Alsop, another wicketkeeper-batsman, who joined McManus on a two-year development contract after his recent 150 against Surrey II, also contributed a half-century.
Alsop put on 40 with McManus and 50 in 12 overs with Adam Hose while making an impressive 53 from 85 balls (nine fours).
Batting at No 7, captain Danny Briggs impressed with an unbeaten 39 from just 35 balls (five fours), sharing in brisk stands with David Balcombe (20) and Ruel Brathwaite (15) before declaring.
But McManus was the star: “It was good to get a score under my belt, the main thing was to set up a big target,” he said.
“It was good we didn’t lose wickets in clusters and thankfully we posted a good target. Hopefully we can make them follow on.”
Balcombe took a wicket with the last ball of the day as the students closed on 13-1.