Saturday, 11 May 2013

Hampshire match review: Glos again impress, despite rain delays and yet more injuries

Hampshire 274 (Adams 138*, Miles 4-83) and 120 for 4 drew with Gloucestershire 400 for 4 dec (Klinger 163)

Day 3 highlights:
Day 4 Highlights:

A week ago, the Jessop Tavern View was delighted to report that captain, Corporal 'Maxy' Klinger had finally delivered some runs and a first victory of the season against Leicestershire. Fast forward a week and we're pleased to report that Glos dominated a rain-affected match versus Hampshire and the skipper struck an impressive second successive championship hundred in making 163.

So, what to make of this week's match? Hampshire are clearly an inconsistent side; they started off well, but managed to lose comically to Essex from a winning position last week. Their batting lineup was missing Michael Carberry, who turned out for the Lions against New Zealand, despite being 32 and surely unlikely to represent England again in future. The absence was keenly felt, as Hampshire were reduced to 97-8 on the first day, before a partnership of 128 between skipper Jimmy 'not the Jamaican one' Adams and Danny Briggs took them to a reasonable first innings total of 274. Adams finished 138* and without him Hants would have struggled to crack 150.

The encouraging thing was that despite injuries to our seamer attack, we still took wickets and it was great to see 18 year-old Craig Miles take a career-best 4-83. Alex Winter wrote on the Cricinfo live blog that Miles has filled out and added several yards of pace since his debut as a 16 year old a couple of years back. The bad news was that key man Will Gidman injured an ankle on Day 1 and then somehow re-aggravated it attempting to open the bowling in the second innings. Surely with little to play for it would have better to leave him to rest up off the field? At least we have a university game next week, so most of the crocked players can rehab ahead of the crucial local derby against Worcestershire on May 22nd.

The batting performance was also extremely encouraging. Klinger survived an early drop in the slips to hit a commanding ton. He was severe on anything wide and also took a heavy toll on erstwhile Lions prospect, Danny Briggs. Chris Dent scored a typically fluent 40-odd, before succumbing to what is fast becoming a trademark waft and nick off to a very wide delivery when well-set. He's obviously learned a lot from a few years of playing with A Gidders and O'Mish. Dan Housego continued to impress, with a fast-paced 50 on Day 3 and Alex Gidman cashed in against his favourite Division 2 quality bowling in striking 69 which helped us towards maximum batting points. Benny Howell continued his happy knack of taking wickets while bowling reasonably economically at 1st change and also managed a red-inker to guide us to a declaration straight after lunch on Day 4.

The rain throughout the match meant that we were never realistically going to be able to force a result, but it was still pleasing to see the bowlers again make inroads. Our depleted attack still took 4 wickets before Hampshire re-took the lead as the game petered out into a draw. All in all, 11 points from a game where more than a day's play was lost to the weather is an excellent result for King John's boys.

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