Saturday, 4 September 2010


Argh, how can three points mean so much? Well, simple because basically next week is the relegation decider. I could bemoan the woeful first innings batting efforts - yes the conditions were bowler friendly but we should have grafted. I could also go nuts about the fact that we let Lancs move from 144-5 to 398 all out, the phase of play that killed us off in the match. However that would just be depressive and sadly treading on old ground. What I will do though is focus on the efforts of the Hampshire second innings, in particular the man who very nearly carried his bat, occupying the crease for nearly two days. Having seen off some tricky overs on Wednesday evening, Jimmy Adams spent his Thursday doing sadly what not many other Hampshire batsmen could do. Didn't stop him though. Friday? Clearly he wasn't keen on the Aigburth changing rooms as another 4 hours in the middle passed by. Almost frustratingly in a way he did a similar thing to Scarborough and managed to fall short of 200 by 6 runs this time. The associated stats are quite unbelievable. For 10 hours and 35 minutes he faced up to the Lancashire bowlers, seeing off 506 balls (the 507th got him), striking 20 fours in an innings that eclipsed all others this season in the country timewise. It's extremely difficult to comprehend the existence of this innings. It defies just about everything associated with the modern game, where in half a day Sachin Tendulkar scored 4 more runs than Adams did. But such is variety of cricket. This man has two 20/20 centuries to his name this season, yet personally batted on all four days of this match, racking up 199 runs and taking his personal CC tally for the season to 1194.

Adams - on a par with London to LA
So Adams occupied the middle for 10 and a half hours. In that time, Paula Radcliffe could run 4 consecutive marathons and be into her fifth. You could watch pretty much all of the Inser - Mahut match in full. You could fly from London to Los Angeles. You could play three rounds of golf. You could take the Eurostar to Paris, come back again then go back to Paris. I'm sure the last one would be a preferred way to spend 10 and a half hours by Adams himself, but as it was he found himself trying to save a game from the second day, and by the end of the match stood head and shoulders above any other batsman in the match. Special mention has to go to Danny Briggs. In the current team I think batting at number 11 is just about fair, but he showed the sort of fightback approach he had displayed against Durham's pace attack in April. Having joined Adams following the departures of Bates, Cork, Wood and Tommo, any Lancashire thoughts of a quick wrap up were put to bed as Briggs went about eating up 16 overs by himself, scoring 15 and helping Adams to add 88 to the total. It was a truly monumental effort by the two of them, showing some of the character and resilience seen in the Somerset bloodbath at Taunton last month. There would perhaps be questions about why Adams didn't score a bit quicker, but to me he went about the whole match in the best way. He wanted to secure the draw (very nearly he succeeded) and he would have been lambasted had he suddenly attempted a 20/20 style knock once Briggs came in, and got out 8 balls later. This match was all about time but sadly there was perhaps just 5 minutes too long in the match. Wood should also be congratulated on his wicket haul for the match. For a debut performance to warrant cries of "where has he been?" clearly shows that he impressed and certainly has a future in the fourth day game. I think that he has the makings of a very good first change bowler and one that will serve Hampshire extremely well in the years to come.

So it was defeat in the end, Lancashire just crawling home but we put up a bloody good effort from day three onwards. Sneaking a win would have been out of this world but just that little bit too much to ask. The most important thing to do now is not dwell on the match in terms of the result. Look very closely at the first innings 'batting', take a good look at ourselves and how we bowl at the tail, give Adams a huge pat on the back then move on to Kent. The final CB40 match will offer the chance for rest for some, whilst also giving the likes of Wood and Briggs more game time. McKenzie will captain in his last game, I think White would be wise to play his CC replacement in the CB40 match to get him into the swing of things. My money would be on Dawson, who apparently scored very big in the seconds, and has featured for the 40 over team lately.

Photo of course courtesy of Sarah Ansell.


  1. Love the blog. And still there is not enough Adams praise in it. There can't be, technically.


    ~ Play For Country Not For Self ~

  2. I hear this was a nailbiting finish, and I am disappointed I had to miss it because of work. By the middle of the last day we Lancy supporters were wondering what the hell had happened to us, but thankfully the deed was done - just!