Adams & Wheater Help Hampshire Secure Hard-Fought Draw

Hants secure their third draw of the season, thanks to fifties from Jimmy Adams & Adam Wheater

Day One:

Michael Carberry (107) scored a fine century to boost Hampshire’s first innings score to 315-7 on a progressive first day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex.

Carberry and Dawson’s (87*) formidable hundred partnership for the fourth wicket placed Hampshire in a commanding position at the Ageas Bowl, before James Harris (2-69) removed Carberry.

Dawson is 13 runs away from securing the second century of the game, having ended a successful day’s batting strongly alongside Tino Best (8*).

The toss was uncontested, enabling Carberry and Adams to test their batting skills on day one.

After the opener pair began steadily, Hampshire lost their first wicket in the seventh over when Adams edged Tim Murtagh’s (2-54) delivery behind to Nick Compton at second slip.

Carberry and Vince then began to find the boundary with great assurance, until James Vince (25) was dismissed by Toby Roland-Jones (3-87), this time Middlesex’s captain, Adam Voges, taking the catch in the slip cordon.

Will Smith (24) helped Carberry to steady the ship and took Hampshire to 95-2 at lunch, after a progressive morning’s play, but the best was yet to come.

Carberry raised his bat shortly after the break, making an impressive 50 as Hampshire surpassed 100, with Smith adding useful runs beside him.

Smith (24) then became the third Hampshire player to be caught behind, as Roland-Jones claimed his second wicket of the match with a quick and tall delivery, to leave Hampshire on 128/3 in the 38th over.

There was a concerning moment when Middlesex captain Adam Voges collapsed after a throw from the boundary struck him on the back of the head. He left the field walking, but will take no further part in the game with suspected concussion.

Carberry then took centre stage, scoring Hampshire’s first home century of the season, having faced 184 balls and hit 14 boundaries, to push Hampshire to 218-3 at tea.

Dawson hit his second fifty of the season, compounding Carberry’s brilliant innings and bringing up the 100 partnership, but Carberry (107) was dismissed immediately after. Just when he was looking unbeatable with the bat, he edging James Harris’ ball to the substitute fielder.

Adam Wheater joined Dawson in the middle to further enhance Hampshire’s score, helping the team to 286-4 before being trapped at lbw by Tim Murtagh.

Wheater’s wicket was the first of a flurry, followed by Ryan McLaren (9) and Chris Wood (6), dismissed by Roland-Jones and Harris respectively. Dawson seemed to be unaffected, taking the helm and steering Hampshire past 300, a welcome consolation for the late dismissals.

Dawson is 13 runs away from securing a century, looking in good touch alongside Tino Best (9*) at stumps on day one.   


Day Two:

The Hampshire seam attack picked up three important wickets as they remained on top during a rain-affected second day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl.

Liam Dawson (89) fell short of a deserved century early in the day whilst debutant Tino Best hit an unbeaten 23 as Hants reached 336 all-out.

Left-arm fast-bowler James Tomlinson (1-21) then dismissed the in-form Sam Robson (5) whilst two wickets for Ryan McLaren (2-25) helped reduce the visitors to 84-3, 252 runs behind.

Dawid Malan reached 40 before the clouds breezed in to firstly force the players off for bad light at 2:50pm before rain curtailed day two early with only 41 overs bowled.

Malan was given a lifeline on 26 when he edged to Will Smith at gully, only for the usually reliable former Durham man to fumble to chance, which had come at him at a fair speed.

The number four bashed six boundaries during his relatively quick innings – after Hampshire had struck early following being bowled out within the first hour.

Sam Robson started the season with a double century, century, combination to kick-start his hopes of playing for opening alongside Alastair Cook this summer.

But he only reached five before he slapped a thickly edged cover drive to Michael Carberry standing at point off James Tomlinson – the left arm seamers ninth wicket of the year.

Nick Compton, who currently holds a position in the England Test side, has endured getting in and getting out so far in 2016, but on this occasion he only managed the latter.

Hampshire’s pace attack had put Compton under huge pressure with accurate bowling before Ryan McClaren forced him to push outside his off stump – Jimmy Adams completing the wicket at first slip.

Nick Gubbins stuck around slightly longer than his partners, as he forged a 33 run stand with Malan, before following a leg-side delivery on his hips through to Adam Wheater, to give South African McClaren his second.

The away side three down on the scorecard but in effect four down with Adam Voges playing no further part in the match following his head injury on day one – although he was on the ground to watch his teammates.

Interestingly, Hampshire director of cricket Giles White and Middlesex head coach Richard Scott had a discussion whether to allow a replacement but could not find a way without falling foul of the laws.

Malan and wicket-keeper John Simpson saw Middlesex to the premature close – trailing Hampshire by 252 runs.

Earlier, the visitors needed exactly seven overs to bowl Hampshire out for 336.

Liam Dawson had looked set for three figures after a patient 86 on the first day, but could only add three morning runs before he edged Steven Finn behind to keeper John Simpson.

West Indian Tino Best livened the session up with some Caribbean flair, as he attempted to knock the leather off the cherry – and almost succeeded with a colossal six come down the track to the pacy James Harris.

Tailenders Mason Crane and James Tomlinson both fell for ducks to end the innings – Tim Murtagh his third of the innings and Finn his second.


Day Three:

James Tomlinson (4-74) and Ryan McLaren (4-74) both finished with their best figures of the season so far during a relatively even third day of Hampshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl.

The visitors made the stronger start to the day and it was England Lions batsman Dawid Malan who frustrated the Hampshire bowlers, hitting an impressive century in 134 balls.

However, Hants did hit back with Tomlinson and McLaren helping the hosts secure maximum bowling bonus points as Middlesex were dismissed for 361, a 25-run lead.

Jimmy Adams (16*) and James Vince (28*) then saw the hosts through to stumps on 76-1, a lead of 51 runs.

The hosts’ bowling found their rhythm in the afternoon, with McLaren and Tomlinson in particular finding their form – although they were rocked by a knee injury to Chris Wood which forced him off the field mid over.

South African McLaren looked fired up, and twice knocked the off-stump out the ground with quick deliveries – Paul Stirling done by one which angled in and Toby Ronald-Jones missing a pull-shot.

Tomlinson was rewarded for his persistence by taking his season tally to 12, after taking just 18 scalps in 2015.

The left-armer removed James Harris – for a shot-a-ball 57 – and ended the Middlesex innings when Steven Finn skied to Best at mid-off.

The visitors, who batted a man light due to Adam Voges’ concussion injury, trailed by 25 runs.

Hampshire started their second innings spritely, with Michael Carberry – scorer of a ton in the first innings – twice slapping Tim Murtagh to the boundary in the first over.

But the former England opener fell lbw to a full ball from Murtagh for 15 in the seventh over, which may have hit him outside the line.

Leg before appeals were a common cry throughout the evening as Jimmy Adams and James Vince, who supplied some jaw dropping cover drives, battled through to close.

Hampshire leading by 51 but a draw the most probably result on the final day. 


Day Four:

Hampshire secured their third draw of the season against Middlesex on the fourth day of their Specsavers County Championship match at the Ageas Bowl.

Jimmy Adams (70) hit his first half-century of the season, before Adam Wheater (57*) and Ryan McLaren (46) applied the finishing touches, a 100 partnership to show for their efforts.

Tino Best (1-18) came out firing with the ball, after Hampshire declared on 290-5, and took his first wicket for the club, when Sam Robson (0) edged his wicked delivery behind to Wheater.   

Adams and James Vince (38) were finding the boundary nicely at the start of day four – beginning on 76-1 - but Vince was caught at backward point in the 31st over, Robson taking the catch from Toby Roland-Jones to leave Hampshire at 103-2.

Adams hit his first fifty of the season before lunch, extending Hampshire’s lead to 147 runs on the final day against Middlesex, before Will Smith (14) was trapped at lbw by Tim Murtagh, leaving Hampshire on 132-3.

Adams and Smith’s replacement, Liam Dawson, added steadily to the lead before the break, taking Hampshire to 172-3 with two sessions remaining.

Dawson (19) looked in good touch, putting away three boundaries before being bowled by Stephen Finn (1-40) shortly after lunch.

Finn was looking menacing, next taking the wicket of Adams, who edged to the slips having protected his wicket so determinedly on day four; an excellent display from the opening batsman.

Wheater was fast out of the blocks, scoring at a run a ball, and his running with Ryan McLaren was effective when the boundary wasn’t reached.

Wheater and McLaren both hit their second fifties of the season, supplying a resilient 100 partnership in response to the morning’s wickets - extending their lead handsomely beyond 250 runs, approaching a comfortable home draw for Hampshire.

Hampshire declared on 290-5, leaving Middlesex needing 266 runs for victory.

Hants’ latest bowling acquisition, Best, came out firing and quickly dismissed Sam Robson - wicket keeper Wheater taking the catch when he edged behind in the third over.

When a draw had long looked a certainty, Tomlinson (1-13) added to the doubt by taking the wicket of Nick Gubbins, trapping the Middlesex batsman at lbw.

The players shook hands when there were no more Hampshire breakthroughs, concluding four days of excellent cricket from both sides.