Hampshire Cricket History

Happy Birthday
September 25, 2018, 7:24 am
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Commander John Manners – 104*

John Manners 2

“No player in Hampshire’s modern history was more intriguing. Not only was he potentially prolific, but his stroke play was brilliant”. (John Arlott)

Are you free next season John?


Some People Are On The Pitch
September 24, 2018, 6:17 pm
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Do they think it’s all over? It might be quite soon:

Lancs 2018

Meanwhile, a fine shot from James Vince, but overall the same old story from the batting. Five consecutive matches, and not one batting point:

Vince v Lancs

Hampshire v Lancashire
September 23, 2018, 7:28 pm
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THE TABLE: If Lancashire take 24 points, Notts need five and Yorks two to be safe. Hampshire (4th) are seven and 10 points ahead of Yorks & Notts respectively and currently ahead on tie-breaks. Hampshire cannot finish third and, to repeat, have never  finished fourth since entering the Championship in 1895.

RESULTS: 13 of the 52 Division One matches have been drawn = exactly 25%. Sky Sports report that the ratio of runs: wickets is the lowest since 1974 when the Championship was played over three-days on uncovered pitches, with lots of outgrounds.

THE GROUNDS: Every ground is averaging at least 10 wickets per full day (96 overs): In rank order, but rounded up or down, the figures on the main grounds are Worcester* 13 wickets per day (6 matches); Taunton 12 (7); Headingley 12 (5); Chelmsford 12 (7), Ageas Bowl* 12 (6); Old Trafford 11 (6), Oval* 11 (5) and Trent Bridge* 10 (6). *= Venues being played at this week. The three outgrounds were Southport (13), Guildford (10) and Scarborough (10). One match at Headingley was abandoned with no play.


Abbott has 950 runs & 145 wickets; Dawson has 5,945 runs; McManus has 997 runs


Vince has 921 runs; Abbott has 49 wickets; Edwards has 48 wickets

(Players’ stats from Tigger’s site)


It’s Irrelevant
September 23, 2018, 10:47 am
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The Championship that is – Almost

There are some interesting thoughts from Jeremy about James Vince and England (two posts below). Looking again at the England squad for the winter, three things seem to stand out

  1. Surrey’s massive superiority is reflected in the selection of three players who might play a significant part in England’s future.
  2. It’s no disadvantage playing in Div Two, with the selection of two men from Warwickshire, one from Kent, one from Durham – plus four more from Worcs & Lancs who are going down. The fact that some of them hardly play county cricket merely emphasises the point.
  3. Surrey are represented, but there are no players from third and fourth-placed Essex or Hampshire and only Jack Leach from second-place Somerset (Bess & the Overtons clearly don’t rate). Porter and Vince, both called-up in reserve this summer, have suffered the quick version of the fate of Ballance, who travelled round with England last winter, and by not playing once proved beyond doubt that he wasn’t good enough. Members of the Barmy Army do much the same.

Hello & Goodbye
September 23, 2018, 7:44 am
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Which in a somewhat roundabout way is another reflection on the season

It’s exactly five years (September 2013) since Hampshire’s players prepared themselves for the last game of the season with nothing riding on it for them. As with tomorrow’s game, their opponents then had a faint chance of starting the following season in Div One, although on this occasion Essex came with an outside possibility of promotion. Oddly, they fielded a weakened side and were blown away by Hampshire for whom, ironically as it turned out, the outstanding performances were a century from Wheater and 10 wickets for Coles.

During the period when Notts (as usual) are signing almost every English county player (adding to existing county imports Broad, Coughlin, Gurney, Mullaney, Nash plus last year Lumb, Read & Smith) and others are moving elsewhere, it’s interesting that Hampshire have not joined in, and I wonder to what extent their preference for Kolpak signings is based on their experience of importing from other counties?

Over recent years those have been KP (from Notts to Surrey), Michael Lumb (Yorks/Notts), Kabir Ali (Worcs/Lancs), Simon Jones (Glams/Glams), Wheater (Essex/Essex), Coles (Kent/Kent/Essex), Will Smith (Durham/Durham), Matt Salisbury (Essex/Durham), as well as some who simply disappeared like Gatting (from Sussex), Brathwaite (Durham), Andre Adams (Notts), and others who were clearly ‘temps’ (Andrew, Carter, Wainwright, Rayner). Their arrival and departure is fairly typical of Hampshire’s signings from the county circuit – not a great success (Michael Carberry in 2006 was a major exception).

There are currently three players featuring for Hampshire who were relatively big county imports and one of them Gareth Berg has done as well for his second county as almost any of those above. A second is Reece Topley and I guess it will come as no surprise as his contract runs out, if he’s elsewhere next year. The third is Sam Northeast whose occasional high spots can’t disguise a disappointing start. He was unlucky, after a slow start, that his century at the Oval was followed by a broken finger and he missed four Championship games, but going into tomorrow’s match, he is in ninth place in our Championship averages with 398 runs at 24.88. He seemed to show a real glimpse of his ability to Hampshire followers in that low-scoring victory v Somerset, with his only Championship fifty at the Ageas Bowl (53) but we have to hope for much more next year in that frail batting line-up.

I’m not sure he’s particularly suited to T20 (there again, neither am I) where he did no better or worse than the other batsmen, yet having missed all the qualifying matches in the RL Cup he scored 58 in the semi-final and an important 75* in the Final. Let’s hope there is more like that to come. Maybe we should start booing him?

More Vince
September 21, 2018, 7:32 pm
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I’m going to start posting a few reflections on the season and hope to get lots of Comments. First up, I’ve been thinking about the invitation to supporters to nominate their Player of the Season. As a historian mine is John Manners of course, but I was interested that some of you favoured Kyle Abbott. My on-field preference is James Vince and I’ll tell you why – reflecting too on Kyle’s season.

Firstly, as captain James led us to our first Trophy for six years and he is likely to finish the season taking us to our highest position in a decade – plus safety before the final match!

Neither James nor Kyle had good T20 campaigns. James scored 248 runs at 22.55, while our highest scorer Liam made 289 at 26.27 and Colin Munro’s 211 runs gave him the best average of 26.38. So nobody did particularly well. But Kyle had a nightmare, taking three wickets in three matches at an average of 39.67 which left him 135th in the country. Even worse, his economy rate of 11.52 per over placed him 172nd from 179 nationally.

There’s no comparison in the Royal London 50 overs cup because Kyle didn’t play, while James topped the run-scoring with 527 at 58.56 – and apart from Sam Northeast who played twice and was dismissed once, he led the batting averages, with a match-winning 171 in the semi-final (his second century). Only two men in the country scored more runs than James – and Chopra was ahead by just one.

That takes us to the Championship where James and Kyle have been respectively best batsman and best bowler, although both have experienced highs and lows. James has 921 runs at 41.86, his best Div One season, with three centuries, Kyle has 405 runs at 25.31 which is a very useful contribution, and he’s also one wicket ahead of Fidel as our leading wicket-taker (49 at 22.41). But it’s interesting that 30 of those 49 wickets came in that recent four-match burst, while he also took seven in the first match v Worcs. But in between, across seven consecutive Championship matches, he took just 10 wickets – even more, there was a spell of seven consecutive innings when he took just three wickets – and we went seven matches without a win.

As a batsman, James was pretty consistent until the past four matches, but I suspect there were extenuating circumstances in at least two of those, when he was one of quite a few people stricken by the virus or food-poisoning from the Captains’ Dinner but kept playing (at Chelmsford and Worcester). He recorded his first pair v Somerset with two lousy shots, but he’s still my nomination – and I hope he reaches four figures (and Kyle & Fidel 50 wickets) next week.

More soon, but what do you think?


No Vince
September 21, 2018, 2:39 pm
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The Championship’s top-scorer Rory Burns gets a well deserved call-up for England’s Test tour to Sri Lanka but neither of the next two, James Hildreth and James Vince, are included.