Hampshire Cricket History

The Elizabethan Era
September 30, 2022, 11:04 am
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On the afternoon of Thursday 8 September I was sharing the commentary box with Kevan and Andrew Radd (Northants) as we tried to beat not just the opposition batters but the nasty weather – everyone will recall that James Fuller did the job in what our captain described as an “incredible victory” at which point the heavens opened.

It set us up for what might have been a thrilling conclusion to the season; sadly that was not to be but at the time another drama was unfolding which might have had implications for our game. By lunchtime many people were aware that the Queen’s health was a cause for concern and as BBC commentators we were primed for the possibility that our broadcast might have to cease – or perhaps be shifted only to Youtube.

In the event I was driving home in very heavy motorway traffic at around 6.30pm when the BBC news announced the death of Her Majesty but we have since learned officially that she died at 3.10pm. I have heard a tale that the ECB issued instructions that in the event of that announcement all cricket should cease immediately. I’ve seen no confirmation but note that had that happened, the Northants game would not have finished.

While I suggest no causal link, merely a historical ‘coincidence’ it is the case that the Victorian era Hampshire County Cricket Club (1863) took 92 years to register any significant success when for the first time we finished 3rd in 1955 – ironically, in view of yesterday’s disappointment an achievement celebrated with enthusiasm in the county.

That came of course just three years after Elizabeth succeeded her father and two years after the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. During her reign we won 15 trophies – most recently the T20 this year – but in the short time since that last day against Northampton things have gone less well. I hope that future historians will not be able to characterise Hampshire as a club that enjoyed all its best days during the Elizabethan era.

Lord’s Test Match v South Africa 1960 – Her Majesty talks with HS (Harry) Altham, former Hampshire cricketer and in the following year, President of the Champion County (Duke of Edinburgh is with Colin Cowdrey, England’s captain).

And the bowling
September 29, 2022, 9:32 pm
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Pretty much to expectation, including the most improved man in the squad.

Abbas 50 wickets at 17.62

Abbott 58 wickets at 19.98

Barker 52 wickets at 22.38

After that: Wheal 11 at 22.18; Holland 19 at 26.47; Dawson 24 at 28.33; Fuller 28 at 28.78; Organ 10 at 31.40 (Crane 0-108; Gubbins 0-4).

Apart from Crane’s one match (did not bat and no wickets) Hampshire used only 13 players – today’s side plus Dawson and Abbott.

Championship Batting 2022
September 29, 2022, 5:30 pm
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Kevan James made an interesting point today that by-and-large our batters ended with an average close to their career figures, whereas if you want the title someone has to go beyond that. Weatherley’s average was about six runs more than his career record but he began the season with 260 runs in his first three innings in April (average 86.6), after which he managed just 136 in 10 completed innings (average 13.6).

James Vince top-scored with 839 runs at 38.13 (13 men in the two divisions passed 1,000 runs). Ben Brown had the best average: 696 runs at 38.66. Otherwise:

Gubbins 754 runs at 35.90; Dawson 587 runs at 34.52; Organ 726 runs at 31.56; Fuller 527 runs at 31.00; Barker 595 runs at 29.75; Weatherley 396 runs at 30.46; Donald 398 runs at 28.42; Holland 519 runs at 22.56; Abbott 233 runs at 15.53

(Also played, Abbas, Wheal and Crane)

No Spin Here
September 29, 2022, 10:04 am
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NB Figures below show wickets for bowlers, no run outs.

2019 Champions: Essex – Harmer 83 wickets, no-one else 50
2020 Bob Willis Trophy Champions: Essex – Harmer 38 wickets, next best 27
2021 Champions: Warwickshire – most wickets Miles & Worrell with Briggs taking 30 at 22 each. This year Briggs 31 at 42 each
2022 Champions: Surrey – most wickets Worrall, Overton & Clark (Spinner Jacks 17 at 47 each)
2022 Hampshire 245 wickets overall, with 34 taken by spinners Dawson & Organ (14%) BUT take away Chelmsford and spinners have just 21 wickets from a total of 225 (less than 10%). Crane did not take one Championship wicket for the first time in his career.

Incidentally did you notice that Essex escaped a penalty for their “poor” pitch last week? 

PS The figure for Hampshire in 2022 now changes with the conclusion of the two Warwickshire innings in which the quick bowlers took 13 more wickets (one run out). So, Hampshire finish with 258 wickets of which (still) 34 by spinners (13%) and excluding Chelmsford (8%). James Fuller today took 4-34, his best of a good season for him.

There are
September 27, 2022, 9:16 pm
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About 200 more overs left assuming no more rain and not too much bad light and we’re around 270 behind. We need either (i) 350 and four batting points or (ii) a draw or (iii) a win – the latter is probably dependent on Warwickshire having to set up a ‘situation’ if they can’t bowl us out cheaply tomorrow.

Might they? We’ve lost three games this year and in each case batted in the two innings combined for not much more than 100 overs:

Surrey at the Oval – 119 overs

Kent at the Ageas Bowl – 101.5 overs

Essex at Chelmsford – 100.5 overs

The Toss (Part 2)
September 27, 2022, 7:01 am
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This is simpler – remembering that we won it yesterday:

In the 2022 County Championship

Hampshire won the Toss Six times, winning 2, losing 2 with one drawn and one not yet completed

Hampshire lost the Toss Eight times, winning 7, losing one (Chelmsford)

Another Omen?
September 26, 2022, 4:24 pm
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We won the toss today as we did last week and …

The toss has been pretty odd in 2022 – there have been just three of the 13 Hampshire Championship matches where the team winning the toss, won the match (we won it v Lancs, our only draw). Otherwise there were are our two victories over Gloucestershire when we called correctly plus our defeat at Chelmsford where they did. On ten other. occasions the team winning the toss did not win the match, so we won the toss v Surrey and Kent and then lost. I hope it’s not an Omen for this game!!

Team News
September 25, 2022, 4:04 pm
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Hampshire have named the same XI as last week plus Wheal and Prest. Since it is a ‘relegation’ match for Warwickshire, Hampshire have an obligation to be ‘fair’ but I’m surprised that Abbott & Barker (and maybe Brown?) appear to be fit. I wonder whether there will be any changes?

A View
September 25, 2022, 9:56 am
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About a Pompey cricketer (Charlie Dean) making the headlines today. You might have a different opinion which is fine.

It was an awful way to finish a game but confirms that Women’s cricket is now fully ‘professional’ – as in the footballer’s ‘professional’ foul – however:

Non-strikers should not encroach and in terms of the Laws, the only ‘cheat’ was Charlie Dean

Watching the recording I don’t think the bowler had any intention of delivering the ball (maybe that’s cheating?). A simpler solution might be that a deliberate failure to deliver in such a case is called “dead ball” whether stumps are broken or not but in every case the batting side might be penalised (say) four runs where they are clearly encroaching (third umpires can re-run and adjudicate). They’d soon stop.

By the time we get to Woodstock
September 23, 2022, 9:10 am
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(It’s sort-of on the way to Edgbaston from Hampshire) we’ll talk about the cricket again but for now I’m going to use the post “The Future is Here” to add any thoughts about Strauss etc.

I’m rather worried that the ECB’s reach is long – I went to buy the papers this morning (“Read all about it”) but they had not been delivered – already two+ hours late. A good day to bury bad news?