Hampshire Cricket History

It’s a Knock-Out
April 26, 2017, 9:04 pm
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As I mentioned below, this is season number 55 in one-innings, limited-overs knock-out cup matches – intended to be played on one day (not always possible).

Hampshire’s first match against Kent came in the third season (1965), was their fifth game and their first victory against first-class opposition. It was played in Portsmouth – Colin Cowdrey’s only competitive match on that ground and Hampshire (208) won against Kent’s 185 in a not untypical low-scoring 60-over match back then. Peter Sainsbury was Man-of-the-Match, scoring 70 and taking 3-45.

They were drawn against each other the following year, this time at Southampton and Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie, back from retirement to keep wicket, won the match award with 59, while Luckhurst scored 65. He took Kent to 114-1 chasing 200 but they collapsed to 145 all out and the incredible ‘Shack’ had figures of 10-3-12-3.

They didn’t meet again in a knock-out match until 1973, and while Hampshire were winning the Championship, Kent knocked them out of both competitions – in a B&H Quarter Final at Southampton by 11 runs and in the Gillette Cup in the first of such matches at Canterbury, by eight wickets, with a century from Luckhurst.

I’ll post more tales from those competitions as the season progresses

Off You Go Then
April 26, 2017, 1:28 pm
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(I nearly wrote ‘we’ then …)

BBC: “A new city-based eight-team Twenty20 tournament has been given the go-ahead to start in 2020. The proposals were approved by 38 of the 41 England and Wales Cricket Board members, with 15 first-class counties in support of the competition”.

Middlesex and Essex voted against and Kent abstained.

(I think the current phrase is “Not in my name”?)

A surprise?
April 26, 2017, 11:34 am
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Zafar Ansari has retired from cricket at the age of 25. I guess I’ll always regret that I never had a quarter of the talent of such a player, but I wonder really how surprising that decision is? He’s a very bright man with a number of professional and career options, but he’s also a finger spinner. As I’ve been suggesting, what exactly is the point of bowling finger spin in England, unless you’re at a county that will prepare pitches to bowl on (like Taunton) ? The last home game Surrey played, saw a wicket fall at more than one every 15 overs – the highest of all the figures so far this season. Even in the 50 overs squads, England have gone for one batting finger-spinner (Moeen) and a wrist spinner (Rashid).

PS Some good news – and I’m very pleased for him; super guy:



April 26, 2017, 8:02 am
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That’s my number (almost Toots & the Maytals)

It’s 54 years to the week since the old, original knock-out cup started in 1963 (1 May at Old Trafford), which means that tomorrow we begin the 55th season – albeit much changed and no longer the competition that excites everybody or attracts the kind of criticism now reserved for the 20:20 in 2020

Looking at yesterday’s 2nd XI side, I wonder whether Stevenson and Taylor are in the squad for Canterbury (and whether Mason Crane is the new Danny Briggs)?

As Andy Williams once sang
April 25, 2017, 8:45 pm
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“Almost there, we’re almost there”

Aldershot Town FC that is

It’s been a pretty good year for Hampshire football clubs – Saints, Pompey, Bournemouth of course (Dorset? 1961? 1973? 1978?) Havant & Waterlooville and now the ‘Shots’ who will have to make a pig’s ear of Saturday to miss out on the play-offs.

Well done. Good luck

Right, back to the cricket … as I was saying …

Thanks but no thanks
April 25, 2017, 1:55 pm
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There aren’t that many Englishmen in the Hampshire squad but none of those that are there have been selected for the England squads for the Champions Trophy or the match v Ireland. I guess Liam Dawson will be most disappointed. His early season form has been unremarkable, but that’s not in 50 overs matches.

Meanwhile thanks for the 2nd XI updates. Another century for Will Smith who can do little more, but can’t have much chance of getting in the first XI.

A Pattern
April 25, 2017, 7:11 am
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I am entirely resigned to the fact that most of my observations of the contemporary game will be those of a grumpy old sod – I will however try wherever possible to support what I say with a fact or two. Neither am I looking for ‘followers’ here – I’m not the Messiah, just a naughty boy.

So, my current grumble is about pitches – and I would reiterate that there are people in the media equally critical of the Ageas Bowl strip, so I’m not alone. But neither is my complaint focused merely on ‘our’ ground. There is a pattern.

Here are the matches and grounds  used in Div One this season with accompanying stats. It’s early days but at present these stats suggest that the draw is favourite in particular at the Ageas Bowl. The difference of around 4 overs per wicket between a result and a draw is pretty significant over 96 overs

Matches Won & Lost

Birmingham (1) 30 wickets at one every 7.3 overs

Leeds 36 wickets at one every 7.8 overs

Taunton 32 wickets at one every 8.2 overs

Manchester 40 wickets at one every 8.6 overs

The Oval (1) 30 wickets at one every 9.8 overs

Matches Drawn

Lord’s 28 wickets at one every 12.0 overs

Birmingham (2) 28 wickets at one every 12.1 overs

 Ageas Bowl (1) 29 wickets at one every 12.4 overs

Chelmsford 29 wickets at one every 13.1 overs

Ageas Bowl (2) 26 wickets at one every 13.4 overs

The Oval (2) 23 wickets at one every 15.5 overs

The other part of the pattern is that you generally need 30 wickets (including innings victories) for a ‘result’. All of the wins/losses reached 30, and none of the drawn matches did. This April has been a good month to monitor, with hardly one interruption for weather.