Monday, 31 May 2010
Earlier in the day Hampshire made hard work of another pretty benign Rose Bowl wicket, Lumb playing a god awful innings and getting out for 0 from 9 balls. Carbs also fell cheaply but from then on Adams, Slug, McKenzie, Pothas and Dawson built an eventually good enough total. Annoyingly Slug couldn't build on a very fluent and aggressive 43, but Cork, seemingly better with bat in hand than with ball in hand, added respectability with a brutal 28 at 2 a ball and with 3 sixes.
Kent now await in the 20/20 slog, and rumour has it that two players will make a return from injury for Hampshire...
Saturday, 22 May 2010
They didn't do too badly, these two...
Ervine was next man in and he only lasted 20 odd balls. Thankfully though he was scoring at a strike rate of nearly 200 and departed for 48. Predictably the innings faltered a bit as it often does after a few monster partnerships, as Vince then Pothas quickly fell without doing much damage. Corky was sent in ahead of Dawson to up the rate (like it really needed it to be honest), and proceeded to hit a 4 and a 6 in a late blitz. Adams succumbed in the 40th over for 131, a fine innings. Adams is particularly strong on the pull and straight down the ground, so it would have been a folly for him to fail on a wicket that offered such even and fair bounce. Dawson came in to face the last few balls, hitting a four to end the innings on 4 from two balls, and Hampshire's own score at 341-6 with the full 40 overs completed.
The dangerous Carter thankfully did not last too long, thankfully, and fell for 20 in Warwickshire's reply. England regulars Trott and Bell then gave a good impression of looking like they would chase the target, especially after carting Corky for 22 in the 8th over. However, Slug was having none of it as he induced a careless stroke from Bell to pick out the fielder at square leg and so depart for a very quick 41. From there the innings subsided horribly (fantastic!), as Trott couldn't keep up the pace and fell for 60. It was a bit like beating up kittens as the rest of the order crumbled under the *ahem* lethal bowling of Slug, Herath and teenager Wood. Keith Barker slogged a few but Rankin spooned Wood to Lumb at deep mid off to signal the end of the Warwickshire innings as Hampshire won by 130 runs. Slug finished with 4-39, and Carberry picked up the man of the match, though Adams and Ervine could easily have won it too. All in all a right Royal thumping.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Benham did a Benham and got 45, whilst none of the others really got anywhere. All the more praise for Neil then, as he rammed the victory down the throats of the previously unbeaten Notts team and their cocky supporters ("Come on boys, let's make it 4 out of 4"). The day started slowly, needing 284 or something to win with all 10 wickets left. Adams and Dawson got the score up to 42, before both fell quickly. McKenzie and Benham then put on the innings defining partnership, before there was a real wobble/ collapse/ business as usual - Benham, Vince, Pothas, Ervine, Cork and Balcombe all got out cheaply to leave McKenzie and Herath in the middle still with over 50 runs to get, and just Tommo left in the hutch. Obviously Tommo would have smashed the 50 needed by himself in 2 overs, but he wanted Herath to finally make a meaningful contribution and didn't it work wonders. The fact that the run rate never went above 3 an over after the second over highlights perhaps the confidence that was missing from the team. However this victory is similar to Ervine's show at May's Bounty against Durham - the finest non-century I think I've ever seen.
Yorkshire are the opponents on Monday, and they'll be smarting from their first loss of the season to Somerset. We on the other hand will be (finally) awaiting the ECB's video highlights with more than a little anticipation.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Little is known of Tomlinson. Some say he was raised by bears, but I don't remember seeing any colonies of bears in Winchester high street, so I'm less inclined to believe that particular story. Either way he's back and his back is not playing up, so a good season with the ball in both forms of the game will maintain his 'dangerous' reputation.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
"382-8! Please get us to 400, that would be an achievement!"
Little did I know. The pair racked up a 130 run partnership for the ninth wicket, Tommo eventually falling for 42, a fine innings that put most of the top order to shame. Griffiths then hung around, as Slug battered all and sundry, taking the innings to 512, and his own score to a mighty 237*, before Griffiths fell to Compton. Griff made amends for this howler by trapping Tresco lbw for 41, whilst Herath took down the Malaysian, Suppiah, to end Somerset's innings for the day on 104-2, still 408 runs behind.
Of course Somerset will knock up a huge score too, then we'll collpase to hand victory to them on the last day, but please give me this for today, please?
Sunday, 9 May 2010
So from 11th (second-bottom), Bath finished the season in 4th, and a trip to Leicester awaits in the semi-finals (next saturday). It was quite a miss-match yesterday. No points were scored in the first 20 minutes but from there Bath took control. A series of scrums close to the line broke down Leeds, with Butch James and Barkley spinning it out wide for Abendanon to score in the corner. This was soon followed by another try, and Watson broke from another scrum, passed to Claassens, who dummied and ran in under the posts. A further penalty made in 17-0 at half time. A couple of penalties were exchanged before Matt Banahan stormed down the wing shrugging off two would-be tacklers and diving in in the corner. Then followed the try of the match, as Claassens and Banahan moved the ball from right to left on half-way, Barkley cut back, offloading to Abendanon who brought it from left to right, Dixon cut through the defence, then quick handling from James and Barkley saw Abendanon with the ball on the right touchline about 20 metres out. Leeds openside, Oakley, appeared to have Abendanon covered, but managed to let him turn and slip past with literally centimetres between him and the touchline. Abendanon then dived in to score the 4th try.
Another well played move down the right sent try machine Maddock in for the 5th try and his 46th and final try for the club. Final score 39-3.
Friday, 7 May 2010
To compound this, there was the injury count. Leading wicket taker Kabir went off clutching his knee. Captain and 'keeper Pothas fell awkwardly and has buggered his hand. Apparently Corky took over the gloves, then when he was needed to try and get a break through, club fitness coach and ex-Portsmouth goalie Brunchy came on and kept wicket! It doesn't end there though. Brunchy was replaced by Bates, with Riazuddin and Howell putting in appearences as various players fell down. So where does this leave Hampshire for the Somerset game? Pff, you expect me to know?! I'll take a guess at the team though. In my view we now have nothing to lose. Therefore I'll be brave and go with:
Adams (Captain extrordinaire)
To be honest they can't play much worse than the current lot. McKenzie has been very poor, Benham repeatedly messes up his chances, and the injuries have to be addressed. I'm expecting a few sly comments from Wes, especially if the Middle pull off that chase against Sussex tomorrow... :(