Hampshire Cricket History

Saturday Sun?
May 8, 2021, 8:47 am
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I got soaked walking down for my ‘paper this morning but by 9.30 the rain had stopped and according to the forecast is heading north. If so, I reckon there should be a fair amount of play today. It’s my ‘day off’ (Emily’s on duty) so the question is, will I be needed tomorrow or can I spend lunchtime watching mighty Portsmouth make the play-offs? (where are those smileys?).

We have two men at the crease who have both scored first-class hundreds – Northeast this year like the next two, Vince and Dawson. At eight (McManus) and nine (Organ) are men who have scored centuries for Hampshire and Barker had one before he arrived with us. Which just leaves Abbas, about whose batting best not to say too much.

So there we are. If three of those seven reach three figures and we get a few more runs here-and-there we can set Somerset 150+, bowl them out and win a historic victory.

Which means I’ll miss Pompey.


It’s a New Day
May 7, 2021, 9:53 am
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(Nina Simone – “Feeling Good” – do we?)

Some interesting stats:

Somerset’s four quicker bowlers all average under 50 balls per wicket: Abell; Davey & Gregory 46 balls each per wicket and Overton 47.

It won’t surprise you to know that Abbas (47) and Abbott (44) match that, but our support bowling doesn’t, with Barker 52; Wheal 59 and Holland 65.

(Below) around 3.30 pm and Weatherley is about to drive Gregory for two runs from the final ball of his sixth over – the first runs conceded by Gregory (16-0)

What’s Going On?
May 7, 2021, 6:05 am
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People do ask – Marvin suggested “we have got to find a way …”

With the possible exception of 2019, Hampshire have been a pretty ordinary Championship side now for a decade or more. Since our promotion in 2014 we were more than once pretty fortunate to stay up. Nothing going wrong right now is out-of-the-blue.

It might be more helpful to note that we had some good fortune early season and we took advantage of it. We started by catching Leicestershire cold. They are probably the weakest of the counties (although improving) – especially their bowling – and we stuffed them. Then Middlesex arrived and we hardly dominated on day one, despite the fact that Murtagh was not fit to bowl for them. A late flourish (Abbott 58) gave us a decent total in one innings where no one reached three figures and then Abbas was unplayable.

Gloucs, turned up in good form but lost their leading bowler Payne (who then had 14 wkts at 14 apiece) and spinning all-rounder van Buren. They clung on and who knows what might have happened had we won, but Abbas went from 13 wickets in three innings to 0-31 in the second (and 0-69 at the Oval).

The other piece of luck was that Vince won the toss in all three games but crucially lost it at the Oval (92 all out) and yesterday (79 all out). The luck seemed to change late on day four v Gloucs.

What else? Well unlike all Hampshire’s strongest sides since their third place in 1955 we have no one in the top three who averages 30 – and many of those old guys played on uncovered pitches: Rogers, Marshall, Gray, Horton, Greenidge, Richards, Turner, Terry, Chris Smith, Middleton all averaged over 30, some over 40, Richards 50+. Kevan James who batted anywhere but sometimes in the top three averaged 30+ and took wickets. Our three, who have been around a while now, don’t, they all average under 30, and there is no obvious alternative (Organ averages under 20). I don’t think you win a Championship with a weak top three.

You might point to the hundreds this year – seven of them. Somerset by contrast don’t have one – yet even with their eight point penalty they are above us in the table. We are not a really good side and we are not a really bad side – we are however a terribly inconsistent side, especially with the bat, with five first innings this year ranging from 612-5 to 79. We have scored just over 1,500 runs in our first innings at an average of 300+ but only once (319 v Middlesex) was the score actually close to that average. Maybe it would have been better to have made 300 each time?

The Last Time
May 6, 2021, 2:44 pm
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(“I told you once and I told you twice”)

It’s Kevan’s fault. He asked when we last bowled out for a score less than 79 and the answer is that defeat v Essex at home in 2017 after they followed on

But then I checked the last time Somerset bowled us out for a lower score and I found this game at Bath in 1965:

Hampshire 64 (Barnard 26, Rumsey 8-26)

Somerset 117 (White 4-35)

Hampshire 77 (Alley 6-40)

Somerset 25-3 won by seven wickets on day two.

PS Hampshire then went to Lord’s and Middlesex bowled them out for 85. That was three consecutive innings under 100, and Richard Isaacs points out that today was the first time since then that we have been bowled out in two consecutive first innings for under 100.

It’s raining – but they can take tea and it’s a shower (no not the batsmen, the weather)

In You Go
May 6, 2021, 9:41 am
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Somerset have won the toss and we’re batting. It’s the fifth time in five games we’ve batted first (does last Thursday count as batting?)

The ECB site is not listing this match yet, Cricinfo has only the toss news, BBC no team info although I believe Byrom is in the Somerset side in place of Banton. Hampshire? No idea yet.

PS: Organ and Barker replace Brad Wheal and Scott Currie (Organ is not opening the batting)

Below, Gregory bowls to Alsop who has one run from his first 30 balls. It’s been a tough morning so far

May 5, 2021, 4:08 pm
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You’re picking the team tomorrow

There are 14 men named; the XI who played (a bit) v Surrey plus Keith Barker, Mason Crane and Felix Organ.

I suggested last week we didn’t need five seamers but in the end we used six so if Barker plays tomorrow presumably it will be instead of one of them. Which one?

Will Mason come back into the side?

If Organ plays it will presumably be instead of Weatherley. Would you go there?

For Somerset, Tom Abell averages 47.75 and ‘keeper Davies ten fewer. Bartlett on 35 is the only other batsman over 30. In the bowling Craig Overton tops the national list of wicket-takers with 25 at 14.60 and Davey is also averaging below 20, but the others (including Leach) are all around 30 runs each wicket or more.

Mason in Kidnap Shock
May 5, 2021, 6:49 am
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Well he’s in the photo:


(Sorry – it’s the Sun wot made me do it)

Reasons to be Cheerful
May 4, 2021, 11:48 am
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I know most of you are avid Guardian readers but in case you missed this optimistic take on the new county season and format:


(Mind you as the Grauniad it was always famous for typographical errors. Might that explain why the article reports Gloucs having beaten Hampshire …?)

PS: No interest to me, but apparently the IPL has been suspended.

More ‘Firsts’
May 4, 2021, 7:18 am
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2005: On 13 June, England beat Australia by 100 runs in the first T20 International played in this country and only the second in the world. Kevin Pietersen, then with Hampshire, played for England.

The weather forecast for the Somerset game is not too promising. It should be freezing, commentating at the top of the Pavilion on Thursday but there’s a good chance of rain too. Warmer (& drier) by Sunday?

Change of Plan
May 3, 2021, 6:51 am
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On the field, who knows? But I’ve been posting some year-by-year histories of the Rose/Ageas Bowl, 20 not out this week as far as the first team goes.

The guys who run our website are going to run it as a series over the season, so to avoid duplication I’ll switch on here to a simpler project, recording ‘firsts’, and point you to the main site


I hope that’s OK. With our season underway there is plenty to post on here anyway.

2001 is now up on the main site so, looking just at ‘Firsts’ (not necessarily every year):

On Friday 13 June 2003, Hampshire beat Sussex at the Rose Bowl in the first T20 match in the new competition – shown on Sky TV. One month later, on 10 July South Africa beat Zimbabwe in the first (one-day) international on the ground, Sean Ervine played for Zimbabwe