Hampshire 2nd XI v Essex 2nd XI 24th April
Jul 8 2007
Hampshire 2nd XI V Essex 2nd X1 on 24th April
A marvellous fight back from Hampshire, who appeared to be down and out at lunchtime on Day 2, saw the home side complete a stunning victory over a shell-shocked Essex with more than three overs to spare at the end.
Having won the toss, Hampshire were regretting their decision to field when Essex racked up 437-7 declared at almost 5 an over on the first day thanks to consistent performances from Kleinveldt (who,ironically, was born in Southampton) with 94, supported by the explosive Graham Napier (91 in 86 balls, 6 sixes, 9 fours) and Darren Thomas (76* in 84 balls, 4 sixes, 9 fours). Hampshire were struggling at 47-3 at the close of play.
Despite the rock-like solidity of Kevin Latouf on Day 2 (a chanceless 152* in 214 balls, 1 six, 20 fours), Hampshire quickly subsided to 59-5 against the swing of Napier (4-58). A promising debut from 16-year-old Academy batsman James Vince (42 in 59 balls, 9 fours, to go along with 3 catches in the slips) still left Hampshire in dire straights at 143-7; still needing a further 145 to avoid the follow on.
However, David Griffiths (a career-best 57 in 73 balls, 12 fours) joined Latouf in a match-turning partnership of exactly 100, which lasted until just after lunch and just about gave Greg Lamb - returning hurriedly from First Team duties at The Oval - enough time to strap his pads on and bat at the unaccustomed position of number 10. Lamb composed himself well enough to compile an unbeaten 50 (77 balls, 1 six, 5 fours) as he and Latouf blunted the Essex attack to the tune of 115 runs, allowing captain Mitchell Stokes the luxury of declaring 79 behind on 358-8.
Essex moved on to 99-3 at close of play on Day 2; a lead of 178 runs.
Essex continued losing wickets on the third day, batting on until lunchtime at 191-7, appearing reluctant to declare and set Hampshire a realistic target on such a good pitch. However, Hampshire's bowlers took Essex's misgivings out of the equation by bowling brilliantly after lunch. David Griffiths (6-67), bowling with genuine speed, added career best bowling figures to his career best batting, supported by Roy Cockram (2-22) and backed up wonderfully in the field as Hampshire were left to score 301 to win in 53 overs at almost 6 an over; further reduced to 50 overs after a sharp shower.
At no point did Hampshire consider the draw as an option as positive batting from Latouf (60 in 75 balls, 12 fours) and Lamb (117 in 104 balls, 2 sixes, 14 fours) overcame the early loss of Dawson for a duck. Mitchell Stokes (51 in 36 balls, 3 sixes,5 fours) amid great excitement increased the scoring rate with Lamb still further and Tom Burrows (62 in 53 balls, 9 fours) carried on the good work to such an extent that Hampshire won the match with 20 balls to spare; the only down side being that the deserving Greg Lamb didn't quite make it to the end; holing out on the boundary going for the winning hit.
A thoroughly professional job by Hampshire in a thoroughly enjoyable game of cricket on a very good Nursery Ground pitch.