Hampshire Cricket History

April 24, 2017, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Having chosen to watch Saturday’s play I came away completely surprised by Yorkshire’s batting. At tea on that second day, I shared the general view expressed in the media that the pitch was too flat and too slow to offer much prospect of a result. It might simply be that Yorkshire were (a) knackered and (b) in some cases, out of ‘nick’?

Otherwise, the rest of the match seemed to conform to the reading of the pitch. On the final day Yorkshire scored 221-3 in 71 overs which, from a distance, sounds like pretty dull fare (was it?). Ballance continued his superb form, passing 500 first-class runs in April – WG and the Don were never offered the opportunity!

The fourth days against Middlesex and Yorkshire have yielded fewer wickets than on any other day in those respective matches, which suggests that pitches are doing the opposite of what they’re supposed to, as they wear. There again, for the second successive match, one wonders about the possible impact of Mason Crane today – and what happened to our latest casualty (Brad Wheal)?



9 Comments so far
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Brad Wheal was said to have a ‘side strain’. The game needed something different. Mason would have offered more than Ervine’s off-spin . . .

Although he didn’t do much, Yorkshire played Rashid.

Comment by Bob Elliott

That’s right Bob – on the other hand he didn’t get to bowl on a ‘worn’ pitch. Impossible to know of course, but in the last two second innings, with the opposition under pressure, Dawson took 1-88 v Yorks and last week 0-62 with his finger spin (Ervine 0-36 and 0-62).

Comment by pompeypop

It was proper cricket, Dave. Hard fought and no quarter given until it was obvious the game was dead.

As Bob said, having Mason in the team would have offered something different.

Apparently, he captained the Academy side on Saturday – average age of the team was around 15 so I guess he was the wise old head.

Comment by Neil M

I can see your point Neil but I have a slightly different definition of a ‘proper cricket MATCH’ which is a battle between bat & ball. Was there really one today (three wickets on a day four pitch)? How often do we get an equal struggle at the Ageas Bowl? Seven of the last 10 Championship matches there have ended in draws (& only one win v relegated Notts)

Comment by pompeypop

Abbott, Berg and, on occasions, Topley beat the bat enough today to suggest there was still something in the wicket for the bowlers. A couple of chances went down when Yorkshire were 100 or so ahead and that really was it.

As Jo says below, give Gary Ballance credit for his performance. Tim Bresnan batted well. He got whacked on thumb, dumped on his backside but he played straight and got in line.

Like you, I’ve become a bit jaundiced with county cricket but I enjoyed both days of this game. Today was more interesting than three wickets and 221 runs suggests. I’ve seen far duller days (they usually involve Glamorgan for some reason). Missing a bit of variety in the spin department was the only downer.

Comment by Neil M

I think you might have to give some credit to Gary Ballance in this match…….without his contributions it may well have been a completely different last day. He wasn’t exactly smashing the bowlers round the park. Kyle Abbott, Gareth Berg & Liam Dawson all had great economy rates. Ballance basically drew a match that the rest of his team look set to lose.

Comment by joster69

Forgive me but I’ve twice pointed out the remarkable percentage of runs scored by Ballance v Hants and in this post I described how he “continued his superb form”. The fact is that for the second consecutive match an uninterrupted four-day game failed to reach a fourth innings. That doesn’t seem right to me but if it satisfies the modern spectator I guess it’s just one more reason why my interest has waned.

Comment by Dave Allen

Changing the subject a little, the 2017 Handbook finally turned up in the shop this afternoon.

Comment by Bob Elliott

I share your concerns. Both games finished quite disappointingly, though we’d’ve been pleased if it was us “earning” a draw rather than failing to press home an advantage.

There was some talk this pitch was prepared differently, to be a better batting wicket – though it certainly started greener than the Middx track.

If we have optional tosses, to encourage “better” pitches, maybe we need an offsetting incentive to encourage results – more points for an away “Draw”?

If the game was thought of as “W20”, clearly there’d be efforts to incentivise the better balance between bat and ball we’d all prefer.

And perhaps we benefitted from Root and Bairstow being over rested by the ECB?

Comment by Jeremy

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