Thursday, 12 August 2010

What a mess

I think it was the early season fixture, when Notts visited The Rose Bowl, when one of the most bizarre series of events occurred that left Hampshire with about 3 players down and strength and conditioning coach Ian Brunnschweiler took up the gloves after Pothas had done something to himself. Kabir Ali's season was ended by injury during that game, but something similar unfolded yesterday at Taunton as first captain Cork left the field having pulled up immediately after tea, and then Slug left the field too, probably related to the back injury that kept him out of the Durham CB40 match. It was left to new physio Craig de Weymarn to put on the whites and take to the field as Hampshire endured a punishing day, watching any hope of victory disappear and a likely defeat loom closer and closer. It had all started so well in the morning session. After a slow start Tomlinson removed nightwatchman Thomas and then opening bat Suppiah with a fine display of swing bowling. Crucially Kieswetter was dropped by Vince at first slip off the bowling of Ervine whilst still on 0. Kieswetter though went on to 43 before Lumb caught him again off of Tomlinson. This only served to bring Hildreth, a man very much in form, to the crease as he and de Bruyn went about repairing the Tommo damage. To make matters worse Lumb took a blow to the foot and also had to leave the field for treatment.

The Somerset pair put on 155 for the fifth wicket, de Bruyn entering the nineties before the hard working Briggs knocked back off stump after a sweep went wrong. Buttler joined Hildtreth and scored runs too, before falling lbw to Christian. Trego then hit a few boundaries before another Tommo bullet messed up the stumps and awarded the bowler with a richly deserved five-for. Hildreth continued on his way though, ending the day on 128, his sixth century this season, as Somerset closed on 392-7, a lead of 108. To say it was a bad day for Hampshire would probably be an understatement. Cork and Ervine both sat out the evening session and so only managed 16.1 overs between them. Christian's one wicket cost 102 runs at more than 5 an over, Briggs struggled to keep the runs being scored off of his bowling, conceeding 137 runs from very nearly a session's amount of overs. Stand in captain McKenzie took on 10 overs himself, whilst the standout was Tommo, 5-78 from 29 overs. If just one other bowler had been able to get figures along those lines then we'd be in a much, much stronger position than the ominous one we find ourselves in now. McKenzie's chances of getting injured have obviously increased ten-fold having been given captaining duties, and to be honest you just wonder when will it end. Hampshire will have to bat out at least two sessions in order to save this match, and that's looking less and less likely if we only have 8 or 9 players at our disposal. I really do feel sorry for Giles White here though. Every plan he had before the season started? Gone. Every plan he had at the end of June? Gone. Our team is on its knees and it has pretty much nothing to do with the type of cricket being played by them. I guess that's a positive. 

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