LVCC Hampshire v Worcestershire Day 3
Apr 17 2009
Worcestershire continued to frustrate Hampshire in their quest for victory on the 3rd morning, however the hosts eventually triumphed in a seven wicket victory worth 18 Championship points.
Vikram Solanki picked up from where he left off yesterday, gloriously hitting James Tomlinson down the ground for four, and empathically pulling him in front of square for another boundary two balls later. Tomlinson though got his revenge in the sixth over of the day when Solanki could only slash a cut shot straight to Carberry at backward point. A livid Solanki trudged off with 73 to his name and the visitors’ last hope of setting a decent target went with him, the lead standing at a slender 79.
Australian Matt Mason offered some spirited resistance and hit three fours off a Tomlinson over, leaving Worcestershire 189-9 with a lead of 105, after 14 overs of play. It was left to evergreen Dominic Cork to wrap up the innings when he bowled Mason with fantastic slower delivery. This left the hosts with just 106 needed for victory and the perfect start to the 2009 campaign.
After lunch Hampshire made a steady start to their run chase, reaching 36 for 0 after 10 overs with Jimmy Adams on 7 and Michael Carberry playing fluently on 27. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Hawks however, as Carberry was put down on 15 at second slip by Daryl Mitchell off an exasperated Kabir Ali.
The introduction of spinner Gareth Batty paid immediate dividends as he trapped Adams plumb lbw with his first delivery. This left the hosts on 39 for 1, still well placed for a comfortable victory. Batty’s arrival slowed the Hampshire run rate down with consecutive maiden overs. New batsman John Crawley raised the home team’s 50 in the 17th over with a quick single.
The weather at The Rose Bowl was overcast and bleak, almost as bleak as the visitors’ chances of avoiding defeat. As the rain got heavier the umpires took the players off with Hampshire sitting pretty on 65 for 1, needing another 41 to win.
When play resumed, the Hampshire pair wasted little time in trying to knock off the remaining runs, both batsmen striking sweet off-side boundaries off Chris Whelan. Carberry brought up his half century with a stunning cover drive and the hosts were now just 22 runs away from triumph.
Carberry and Crawley were now happy to milk singles off the previously miserly Batty and the visitors seemed resigned to their fate. Mitchell then made partial amends for dropping Carberry when he bowled the opening batsman, via an inside edge, for a well crafted 58. Mitchell then made it two wickets in four balls as Michael Lumb bagged a pair.
Sean Ervine came to the crease and promptly struck two delightful boundaries to seal a seven wicket thumping for Worcestershire. As the winning runs were hit, the sun peeped through the clouds, and Hampshire will be hoping it was a suitable omen for the season ahead.
Match report by Neil Evans and Paul Abrahams.