Hampshire Cricket History

The and Now
March 28, 2021, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m a bit dozy from my second Covid jab, so I’ve spent the morning watching the cricket and listening to some interesting discussions about where the ‘old’ format of one-day cricket finds itself. Nasser suggested that batsmen dominate too much today meaning even good bowling is ‘fodder’. He wants boundaries to be a special event, whereas Rob Key would prefer big hitting every time.

I’m with Nasser, but each to their own. I’ve always enjoyed the traditional one-day stuff; I saw the first Gillette Cup Final on TV in 1963 and while it was two or three years before I saw one live, I’ve always liked it. Shorter than 40 overs doesn’t interest me.

Ian Ward quizzed David Lloyd about the old days and they revealed that in the first year (the first anywhere) the average score was just 207, and that was in 65 overs, with some bowlers allowed to bowl 15 each – I can add that on average 17.5 wickets fell in each match – some time ago I did some stats research on that season which began with the bottom two sides in the 1962 Championship playing-off a preliminary game in which Lancashire 304-9 beat Leics 203 (in the 54th over). It would be the second highest total that year, with Peter Marner (121) making the first century (Hallam 106 for the losers) and highest innings of the year. The highest total was 314-7 by Sussex (Suttle 104) v Kent, apart from which, in the 16 matches, only four more saw scores above 250. There were three other centurions, Hedges 103* for Glamorgan, Bolus 100* carrying bat for Yorkshire and Dexter 115 for Sussex in their semi-final v Northants. Sides batting first won 11 of the 16 games.

The lowest score was 59 all out by Lancashire v Worcestershire in the semi-final, and it took them 31 overs and one ball with Jack Flavell’s figures 13-4-14-6 – and they weren’t the season’s most economical since Jim Standen of Worcs had 15-9-14-5 v Surrey (115 all out). A number of wicket-taking bowlers finished with economy rates below two per over: Fred Rumsey; Alan Moss (twice); Les Jackson (twice); Mike Dilley of Northants who never played again; Brian Crump; Tom Cartwright Bob Carter and Jack Bannister – all pace bowlers. Fred Titmus took 1-6 v Northants but only bowled four overs. Hampshire only played one game which they lost, but Mike Barnard top-scored with 98, so it was a good competition for Pompey’s two footballers (Barnard and Standen).

I reckon only four of the 16 games were close: Glamorgan beat Somerset by 10 runs; Derbyshire beat Hampshire by 6 runs; Sussex beat Yorkshire by 22 runs (a high scoring game) and in the Final, Sussex 168 all out after 60.2 overs, beat Worcestershire 154 all out (63.2) by 14 runs – a total of 322 runs in 123.4 overs. We’ll probably see twice that many today in fewer than 100 overs. Norman Gifford got Man-of-the Match for taking wickets but the most economical were Alan Oakman (another spinner) with 13-4-17-1 and young John Snow 8-0-13-3. Ron Headley (Jamaica and later West Indies) was the first ‘overseas’ player in a Final – the only one that year.

Different times.

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