Hampshire Cricket History

September 12, 2016, 12:32 pm
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I read those comments on the previous post and figured he deserved his own Post. Of all the Hampshire Cricketers I’ve known over the years he’s the one I got most pleasure from conversations with – he’s very clear thinking about cricket, very committed and usually wonderfully funny too! Here are the original comments – feel free to add your own (he does look on here from time-to-time).

Bob said: “The end of an era as ‘Tommo’ retires . . . Hope he’s around the place for a lot more years”.

James said: “Tommo’s statement on the official website is well worth a read.
http://www.ageasbowl.com/cricket/news/james-tomlinson – A truly great team player who will be sadly missed. I would have thought a media career beckons if he doesn’t go into full-time coaching”.

Ian said: “I hope you read this ‘Tommo’. Thanks for the memories. I have had a great time watching you and as a Hampshire born lad of a similar age it was always a delight to see you do well doing things I would have loved to have done. I really hope that you receive a benefit from the club and cannot think of anyone more deserving”.

(Only contracted players can get benefits but if he’s stays as a coach, which I believe he will, at some point, like Tony Middleton, Mike Taylor and Nigel Gray, he can get a Testimonial, which is a scaled-down benefit. I happen to know he’s pretty relaxed about all that.)

Tomlinson J appeals .jpg

Looks plumb to me



London Calling
September 12, 2016, 6:54 am
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So we must all root for Surrey and Middlesex in two crucial Clashes over the next four days – hoping that Durham and Lancashire stay within catching distance.

I was thinking about Warwickshire’s position, eight points above us. We have lost three points to slow over rates and while I wonder about other sides, I have no sympathy because over rates generally are rubbish.

But that makes me think again about Middlesex and that appalling performance at Merchant Taylor’s where we ended minus one point. Tino & ‘Tommo’ bowled well for the first hour and deserved more luck and Jimmy battled with 70 odd at the end. Otherwise we were distinctly third division – one of the worst Hampshire performances I’ve seen. Then there was the game against Surrey at home, when Brad Wheal and Lewis battled on with their 10th wicket partnership on the final morning. At midday, a draw and five points should have been secure but they weren’t and that too was poor. So three slow overs points and five for a draw against Surrey and we’re level with Warwickshire and ahead of Durham and Lancs.

(I notice there is a new version of the 1960s British movie If on release …)


A Big Difference
September 11, 2016, 11:00 am
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In the Sunday Times today there is a preview of the Championship run-in which reveals that over the past three seasons – with two games to go – the five key Yorkshire bowlers (Brooks, Bresnan, Patterson, Plunkett and Rashid) have already taken over 100 wickets each – an average of 35+ each per season. Jack Brooks has more than 180 in those three years, with probably more to come. No one has taken 35 wickets for Hampshire this season (McLaren 32) and no one has taken 50+ in a season over those three years.

For Hampshire, only two men can claim to have been consistent wicket-takers over all three years: James Tomlinson with 69 (47 + 18 + 14) and Liam Dawson with 54 (17 + 22 + 15). I don’t think James will play in the last match, I expect Liam will.

Otherwise most of the key people have come and gone – or missed lengthy spells through injury. Apart from those two, the others in double figures are:

Gareth Berg 60, Fidel Edwards 48, Danny Briggs 46, Ryan McLaren 43, Matt Coles 41, Mason Crane 37, Kyle Abbott* 36, Sean Ervine 29 (but declining from 19 to 8 to 2), Brad Wheal 24 (8 last year, 16 this), Chris Wood 20 (15 of them two years ago), Jackson Bird* 19, Tino Best 15, Will Smith 13.

*one season as overseas

Three Centurions
September 11, 2016, 6:57 am
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Tigger sent this by email (cheers) – after which he and I and Bob M had various conversations – recalling some of the more recent occasions. Were you there?

“With our 3 century makers at The Oval I wondered when the last time we had done it. So I did some digging and found out.
We have had 3 centurions in a match 36 times. We have never had 4 in a match.
However, we have only had 3 in an innings 10 times.
The first was in 1901 v South Africans. The last before this week was in 1992 v Sussex at Southampton. The hundreds were scored  by Terry, Middleton and Robin Smith.
Other facts I found:
1) In 1913 v Essex we achieved the feat in the 2nd innings (only time) after following on and Essex also had 3 century makers in their only innings.
2) In 1928 v Middlesex we had 3 centuries in our first innings and Middlesex had 3 in their 2nd (including a double hundred),
3) In 1997 v Warwickshire we had 3 centuries (including a double by Hayden) in the match and Warwickshire 4 (2 in each innings).
I wonder if 7 in a match is a record?”

Pitch it Right
September 10, 2016, 9:25 am
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(Applies to every song)

Lord’s/Middlesex remains the toughest place to take wickets and that might be key for the last round shoot out. A wicket every 12.3 overs or 7/8 per day

Hampshire’s is now third slowest at one every 11.23 overs (8 per day). That’s not quick enough to beat Durham.

The Oval has now slipped between those two at 11.40

Three regular grounds come in below 9.6 overs (ie 10 wickets per day, 40 per match). They are Edgbaston (9.25), Taunton (9.31) and Headingley (9.49). Trent Bridge is just over at 9.74 overs. Durham and Old Trafford are the other two: both at 11+.

Average day
September 9, 2016, 8:13 pm
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Despite my caution with raw statistics I’m always interested in a look at averages towards the end of the season and I agree with the views offered earlier in the week that they often reveal a certain truth. It is for example perhaps unsurprising that the top four batsmen in Div One’s averages are equally from Middlesex and Yorkshire – but at number five tonight is Sean Ervine with 984 runs at 65.60. What’s more those top four guys have played no more than six games, none have had 10 completed innings while Sean has batted 19 times with four not outs – perhaps that makes him ‘the best’?

Incidentally Sean did pass 1,000 runs for the first time yesterday but only by including 40 runs in two ‘knocks’ v Cardiff University so I hope he gets at least 16 v Durham to pass four figures in the Championship. Intriguingly, the next guy in the national averages to have played a reasonable number of times is Ryan McLaren who is seventh with 819 runs at 63.00. He’s played 22 innings with nine not outs and as the guy between him and Sean is James Fuller who has played just two innings, Hampshire have the top two regular batsmen in the country.

So why are they doing so poorly? Well apart from Adam Wheater (of Essex!), next comes Tom Alsop in 48th place (36.33), one ahead of Jimmy Adams, but the others from the top four/five in the order (Smith, Carberry, Dawson and Vince) are rather far behind – indeed McManus on 33.4 leads them all, so the runs are coming mainly in the middle order.

But it’s the bowling – apart from Andy Carter with six wickets in sixth place – that reveals the real problem. There is not one regular Hampshire bowler in the top fifty and at number 52 comes

Tom Alsop!

Followed by ‘Tommo’ at number 56 (34.50). The leading wicket-taker is Ryan McLaren with 32 wickets at 37.47 and apart from him only Mason Crane with 27 wickets at over 40 each, has reached the 20 wicket mark.

That final game is so crucial I’d be tempted to recall ‘Tommo’ – especially if it’s at all damp/overcast. It might be a final fling for him, but it might equally be an heroic one! And if not? Well there’s little evidence that anyone else can do more.



Oh Well (part one)
September 9, 2016, 4:18 pm
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Title from the ‘real’ Fleetwood Mac. There is a part two, but I hope I’m not using that in a fortnight

So we never got remotely close to winning, or taking 20 wickets. In this match at the Oval a wicket fell every 15.5 overs – effectively an average of six per day and of the 65 Div One matches played this season, one of only eight that have averaged more than 15 overs per wicket (Taunton this week averaged 5.3 overs but apparently no danger of penalties for turning pitches these days).

Notts are down and as Jo notes, Wheater unsurprisingly has gone. It’s not easy to see us surviving now because, even if Warwickshire get only a few points, it looks as though we’ll have to win. If Durham come with Rushworth, Wood and Onions (etc) will we dare produce a wicket-taking pitch? If we do, will we score enough runs to pick up bonus points? Will it rain? Did the ball cross the line in 1966? Who was Jack the Ripper? How do you do what you do to me?

Enjoy your weekend