Hampshire Cricket History

February 19, 2021, 7:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Friday started badly for Hampshire with Marshall taking 20 minutes to add just five runs before falling to Morgan, but at 141-4 the two Hampshire-men Barnard and Sainsbury came together. They were the two finest fielders in the Hampshire side and generally so accomplished that The Times had reported both dropping important catches on Thursday, but they made amends with a partnership of 99 in just 68 minutes. It was exactly what Ingleby-Mackenzie needed giving him sufficient runs to declare, setting Derbyshire 252 to win in 192 minutes.

Meanwhile, at Edgbaston, Horner went to a century, Ibadulla to 50 and while slow-left-armer Gillhouley took 4-77 the declaration set a target of 270 in just 150 minutes. It was a stiff task but Yorkshire had no choice – they had to win. Hampshire took the field for about 20 minutes before lunch and Shackleton struck almost immediately, dismissing Charles Lee, another ex-Yorkshire player. Lunch came at 11-1 and immediately after, Shackleton destroyed Derbyshire’s top order, on what the Daily Telegraph would describe the next day as a “docile pitch”, and in what John Arlott suggested, “was one of the most astonishingly effective spells of even his remarkable career”. Arlott added that “the pitch was useless to him” to which Shackleton’s typically phlegmatic response later was “I did all I could – I just bowled straight”. In the first three innings of the match, the two sides had scored an average of 32 runs per wicket, with one wicket falling every 11 overs – now, in less than an hour, Shackleton reduced Derbyshire to 24-4.

The pitch offered nothing to the sheer pace of ‘Butch’ White (0-27 in the match) so Alan Wassell bowling through the afternoon soon took a fine caught-and-bowled and then had Morgan caught by Gray at slip. That was 48-6 after which Shackleton quickly accounted for Edwin Smith and the deputy captain GW Richardson. Arlott noted that 52-8 was “near certainty” with an hour and three quarters remaining while in Birmingham Yorkshire were struggling – at 11, they lost Ken Taylor run out and the top four went for just 46. Ray Illingworth and captain Vic Wilson came together at 59-5 and their partnership went past fifty but time was running out with Basil Bridge bowling his 21 overs for just 55 runs (and two wickets). Some of those watching at Bournemouth might have heard occasional radio updates which would have calmed nerves, but Hampshire wanted to win it in style and when Shackleton took a break Derbyshire rallied, with young Bob Taylor leading the way.

Taylor and his companion, pace bowler Harold Rhodes, doubled the Derbyshire score and Arlott wondered whether “a chilly tinge of doubt crept in …” but then Peter Sainsbury came on and almost immediately caught-and-bowled Rhodes. Les Jackson came out to join Taylor at 104-9 and stayed while Taylor went to his highest score, two short of a first half-century. Going for the fifty he half-pulled, half-drove Sainsbury high to long-on, Danny Livingstone took the catch and the Hampshire side was engulfed by spectators, who then assembled beneath the pavilion and called for the Champions. While it was now incidental, Yorkshire, having lost Illingworth, played out time, so that evening Hampshire stood 30 points ahead of tomorrow’s opponents – but before that came speeches, champagne, hand-shakes and for Arlott, the Hampshire man, “nostalgic sad-glad thoughts of Hampshire cricketers who will never tread a cricket pitch again”.

3 Comments so far
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Thanks for this Dave.
Brought back some memories of my 11 year-old self that day – e.g. poised on the boundary to charge onto the pitch, and after one false start, joining the happy fans by the pavilion.

Comment by Dave Pople

Always good to re-live that wonderful day. My brother and I, aged 13 and 15 respectively watched it all and naturally joined the delirious fans in front of the pavilion. A never-to-be forgotten occasion. It was Shackleton’s bowling that did it – undoubtedly his most important spell for Hampshire..

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

I envy you all. I saw eight games that year (mostly Pompey) but not that day. I managed to pre-arrange a holiday ‘up north’ in late August 1973 (after all, no chance of the title) when I had watched even more games, but I’ve never yet seen us actually win it – and I doubt now whether I ever shall.

Comment by pompeypop

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