Hampshire Cricket History

Great Finish! Important Victory
July 22, 2012, 4:03 pm
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Hampshire have beaten Essex by 2 runs after yesterday’s enterprising arrangements between the two captains – fully justified by today’s excitement. It’s not a record (there have been one run and one wicket results) but it was certainly exciting and one feels (a little) for Adam Wheater the young Essex wicketkeeper who needed three runs to win it and two for his century.

Essex last man Craddock came in at 317-9 with 42 needed. He faced 23 balls without scoring while Essex added 40 runs

The final three overs were really exciting. Balcombe bowled an over from which Wheater hit two sixes a four and a single. Then Briggs bowled to him and he hit a four and took a single from the fourth ball. Adams replaced Balcombe with Tomlinson and Wheater hit his first ball for six, then a dot ball, two runs, a four and, with just three needed (or two for Hampshire’s first tie since 1967) Wheater was caught by Ervine. This gave Tomlinson figures of 5-86 and the win took Hampshire into second place. Kent are just five behind with a game in hand so this week’s match against them takes on extra significance.

July 22, 2012, 9:46 am
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A couple of interesting pieces in today’s Independent:

Ravi Bopara made his fifth Test match duck on Friday and only two English men – one who played for Hampshire, and one who still plays along the coast – have a higher percentage of ducks than Bopara’s 27.7% – although of the three, only Bopara has also made a century (three in fact) …. (answers below)

Michael Henderson writes about South Africa’s tendency to “grind you down” rather than “knock you down”, adding “boldness and South African cricket make poor partners”. However, he suggests that the team of 1970 was potentially rather different and thinks they might have achieved “immortality” through Pollock, Procter and the “youthful BA Richards” adding “Many will tell you that Barry Richards was the purest batsman they ever saw”. You can certainly include me in the “many”.

(Alan Mullally and Monty Panesar)

On this day
July 22, 2012, 9:38 am
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(from the new Alan Edwards book) Hampshire played the final day of their last-ever County Championship match in Portsmouth. It was a bitter-sweet occasion for me – I was Chairman of Portsmouth Area Supporters at the time and entertained their Committee for the four days (the famous duel between Dravid and Warne). Their President was Colin Cowdrey who was charming throughout and I still have his letter thanking me for the hospitality. A few days later he suffered the stroke that killed him so it may have been his last view of county cricket. Paul Nixon, batting, won the game for Kent and in the Archive we still have one of the stumps, signed by Paul as well as a scorecard signed by Dravid.

Today is also the anniversary of Imran Tahir’s debut for Hampshire v Lancashire at Old Trafford in 2008, when he  returned match figures of 12-189, Hampshire’s best ever on debut – his second innings 7-66, equalling Shane Bond’s debut best for the county. I wonder whether he’ll manage anything similar at the Oval today and tomorrow?

Chelmsford intrigue
July 21, 2012, 2:52 pm
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I’m looking forward to reading how the two sides set up the finish in this game. It appears that after two brief innings with no wickets falling on day three, Hampshire have challenged Essex to score 360 from around 144 overs – or a day-and-a-half. That looks very generous but ‘feels’ like two teams/captains who are so sick of the awful weather (Essex have suffered more than Hampshire) that they’ve just decided someone is going to win. Meanwhile Derbys v Yorks never got going again, so the victory could be very valuable – but defeat may be very costly with bonus  & draw points sacrificed.

Senior Figures
July 19, 2012, 8:25 pm
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I spent today at Arundel (always delightful) and conversations with the Sussex historians and Committee revealed that they are making a real effort to celebrate ‘special’ birthdays of senior players – most recently their wicketkeeper Rupert Webb who reached 90 a couple of weeks after Leo Harrison (what is it about wicketkeepers?).

Next Friday (day one v Kent) Hampshire’s former players hold their annual reunion and I’ve been checking on our seniors – some of whom usually attend. I think that this list is correct (ages as next Friday):

Neil McCorkell (100), John Manners (97), Vic Cannings (93), Leo Harrison (90), David Blake (87), Jimmy Gray (86), Ralph Prouton (86), Alan Rayment (84), Dennis Baldry (80)

John Taylor
July 19, 2012, 6:04 pm
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Paul Sutton has added a Comment to Harry Downer below, suggesting that John Taylor may have died in Southampton in March 1991 although there is a confusion because his birth is given as 18 Feb rather than 18 December 1923. John Taylor is third from right back row in the 1947 team photo above.

Thanks Paul

2nd XI v MCC Young Cricketers
July 18, 2012, 3:58 pm
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Lunchtime Day Two: MCC were dismissed for 266 yesterday and in a rain-interrupted morning opener Sean Terry went to 69*, while Hampshire after 40 overs were 152-5 – Jake George 15* and James Vince, just back from Trent Bridge, due to bat next. The first shot above shows Terry defending the last ball of the morning, watched by a very small crowd that included his grandmother Pat.