There are days when things just don't go your way, and quite often there are single incidents that epitomise that entire day. It appeared for a short while that such an incident had occurred, some way into the evening session of the first day against Lancashire. Dominic Cork, against his old county, found a way through the defences of opposite number Glenn Chapple, only to be called a no ball for overstepping. To compound this the ball had found its way to the boundary having passed a jubilant Bates, making his Championship debut, and so 6 runs were added to the Lancashire score. The whole thing could quite easily have encapsulated the Hampshire performance that day, having success but not enough of it and not enough luck. Thankfully Chapple was gone next ball edged behind, but not after standing is ground much to the chagrin of Cork. It took an umpire's meeting to tell Chapple that yes, he was out as you generally are when you edge the ball and it is caught. Chapple had won the toss in quite blustery, overcast conditions and decided to bat first on a pitch that had a bit of life in it. Tomlinson quickly found his line by his second over, and he and Cork put great pressure on Smith and Horton the openers. Indeed, at one point the score was 6-0 after 9 overs. Swing was available to the pace bowlers, and a bit of seam movement may have been on offer too. Either way the morning belonged to Hampshire as Lancashire entered lunch 3 down.
After the break, Chanderpaul and Croft took up where they left off in the morning session, Chanderpaul being especially agressive in the very early overs. Balcombe bowled well throughout the day, and should have had more than the two wickets that he did get, but a number of appeals turned down as well as a very tough chance spilled by Bates and McKenzie meant it just wasn't to be. Briggs came on and Chanderpaul deployed the tactic of sweeping. And sweeping. And sweeping. Yes it was effective to an extent, but Chanderpaul is a much better player than a one shot pony, so it was disappointing in a way. The breakthrough was made though when Croft tried to block a Briggs ball which hit the ground, spun back, hit his foot then rolled onto the stumps, just dislodging the bails. Cross quickly followed as an attempted cut tickled a Briggs ball into Bates' waiting hands. Sutton joined Chanderpaul for a vital partnership that gave Lancashire respectability as they passed 200, Chanderpaul eventually bringing up his century after tea and Sutton departing to a good catch in the slips. The Chapple incident followed and after some words were exchanged between Cork and Chanderpaul and then Cork and the umpire, Cork found Chanderpaul's edge through to Bates for 118. Mahmood and Kerrigan then played a blocking game until stumps, except for a typical Mahmood six off of Tomlinson, and the day finished on 262-8.
Overall I think Hampshire should be pleased with their bowling efforts on the first day, and they should also be pleased that they have gotten themselves into this position having lost the toss. The opening bowling was extremely accurate and aggressive, though Cork bowled better and with more success in his evening spell. Tomlinson seemed spurred on through the anger of his sunglasses breaking in the first few overs of the day. This was compounded by Dawson then losing one of the lenses in the outfield. As I said Balcombe was impressive, and Ervine too who showed absolutely no signs of any niggles that were clearly hampering him on Monday. He bowled with good rhythm and his pace was right up there. Briggs bowled well too, though he received some predictable tap from Chanderpaul, he was still able to beat the edge a few times. The fielding overall was decent, though a few misfields probably accounted for an extra 6 or 7 runs. The bowling was disciplined throughout - Cork's no-ball incident aside just two leg-byes and a wide were conceeded all day. The catching was above standard, McKenzie's reflex one handed slip catch and Vince's two catches standing out. McKenzie nearly pulled off a stunner too, diving from slip to legslip as Chanderpaul swept the ball, and only just falling short of the catch. Cork's captaincy was above par too, the only time he let off from his strike bowlers was to give Carberry a few overs before tea to get the over rate back up. A few field placements were reactive, but the use of Lumb at short leg early on (perhaps a bit of a 'welcome back into the team, Michael' gesture?) to the fast bowlers helped to add pressure on the batsmen as well as save some runs. Bates kept very well on debut, if he can continue and exceed this standard of 'keeping then he will be a regular team member for a long time to come.
Looking to the second day, Hampshire obviously need to get the last two wickets as quickly as possible. It does not appear to be as overcast as it was yesterday morning, but the top order will still have to work for runs , though again hopefully runs will become easier to come by into the afternoon and evening sessions. Hampshire have a great chance of getting a positive result out of this match, though it will require a hell of a lot of concentration and discipline to achieve that.
It will be okay
3 months ago