Balcombe Heroics Not Quite Enough for Second XI
Jul 7 2011
ESSEX 2XI V HAMPSHIRE 2XI
ECB SECOND ELEVEN TROPHY
WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE 2011
Summary: Essex beat Hampshire by 209 runs
Essex 2XI: 357-6 dec & 242
Hampshire 2XI: 251 & 139
Hampshire battled hard but could not prevent Essex recording a 209-run victory in their Second Eleven Championship clash at Garon Park.
The hosts used the good batting track on offer to their advantage after winning the toss and declared on 357-6. However, that did not deter Hampshire as they dug in and fought their way to 251 all out – largely thanks to an outstanding 94-run partnership between bowling duo Kabir Ali and David Balcombe.
That kept Hampshire in the game, but Essex stood firm and extended their grip on the match with a second innings score of 242 – leaving Hampshire chasing 348 for victory in their second innings.
It was always going to prove a tricky task and so it showed as Hampshire were skittled out for 139 by Essex.
Having taken a strong side to Southend-On-Sea, Hampshire were looking to secure their first win in the competition this season.
Early on, things went to plan as they claimed a couple of wickets, but prolific third and fourth wicket stands of 127 and 149 by Essex put them in charge. 18-year-old Essex batsman Ben Foakes, in particular, hit an outstanding 221 ball 178, though he was capably supported by Jaik Mickleburgh (75).
Benny Howell (1-25) and Jack Sheppard (1-54) did bring Foakes and Mickleburgh’s innings to an end respectively, but it was left-armer Chris Wood (3-59) who was the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, some heroic lower-order batting helped Hampshire recover following the fall of a glut of early wickets leaving them teetering on 102-7 – that, despite Liam Dawson’s steady 44. That served to bring both strike-bowler Kabir Ali (46) and paceman David Balcombe (65) to the crease.
Their 94-run stand steered Hampshire to 196-8, before tailenders Friedel de Wet (16*) and Jamie Miller (18) helped the cause.
Hampshire needed timely scalps in Essex’s second innings and they had just the man for the job. Balcombe (6-42) bowled an outstanding opening burst taking four out of the first five Essex wickets to leave the hosts on 102-5.
They rallied briefly but consistent bowling, again, from Wood (2-46) meant Essex were all out for 242.
That set Hampshire an unlikely victory target of 348 which was always going to be difficult against an experienced opposition attack. Conditions suited the bowling side as Hampshire quickly fell to 4-42, but a 61-run stand between Wood (35) and Benny Howell (43) did offer some resistance.
Though when they departed, Hampshire’s lower order could not repeat their first innings trick and were all out for 139.
Words: Stuart Appleby
Images: LMI Photography