Hampshire Boost Relegation Survival Hopes With Notts Victory

Report from Hampshire's Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge

Day One:

Adam Wheater (102) compiled his tenth first-class ton to help Hampshire post 319 on day one against Notts, who trail by 280 runs going into the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Trent Bridge.

Wheater spent 200 minutes at the crease crafting a fine century, after Dawson (54) and McManus (54) had secured fifties, before Ryan McLaren found an early breakthrough with the ball to restrict Notts to 39-1 from their 11 overs before the close of play.

Having been pegged back to 98-4 by Luke Wood's three wickets, Hampshire climbed from 103-4 at lunch to 304-6, setting Notts a 320-run target before Andy Carter bowled his first overs as a Hampshire player.   

Dawson scored his third Specsavers County Championship fifty of 2016 in the morning session of the first day at Trent Bridge, supplying superb resolve after Jimmy Adams (8) and Will Smith (12) were removed by the bowling of Wood.

Dawson scored at the rate of a 50-over batsman, facing just 65 balls to reach his half-ton, but the Hampshire all-rounder was trapped at lbw shortly before lunch, as Wood took his third wicket.

Wheater took Hampshire to 103-4 at the break, and batted excellently in the afternoon alongside McManus as he scored his fourth Championship fifty, after Ryan McLaren (16) was taken by Harry Gurney.

McManus brought up 200 for the visitors with a boundary, as he and Wheater compiled a hundred partnership to help Hampshire find a foothold in the game – a crucial encounter in the Division One relegation battle.

Wheater really turned the style on before tea, hitting a maximum in the 62nd over and going into the break before the final session of the day on 226-5 against Notts.

McManus reached his half-century off 101 balls, surpassing fifty for the fourth time in just nine first-class matches, and looked capable of doubling his tally when he was caught behind by the Notts skipper and wicket keeper, Chris Read.

A 123-run partnership, lasting over 30 overs, projected Hampshire to within touching distance of 300 before the sixth wicket stand was ended by Steven Mullaney.   

26-year-old Wheater secured his 10th first-class century to help Hampshire move beyond 300 with four wickets in hand, having been 98-4, hitting 12 boundaries and one six off 144 in a finely crafted knock.

Gareth Berg’s injection of 28 off 24 balls helped the visitors post 319 all out, remaining unbeaten as Imran Tahir removed Wheater and assisted Jake Ball wipe out Hants’ lower order.    

Ryan McLaren then gave Hampshire’s bowlers great encouragement going into day two at Trent Bridge, beating Jacob Libby (11) with length and trapping the key batsman at lbw, restricting Notts to 39-1 from their 11 overs at the end of the first day. 

Day Two:

Andy Carter enjoyed a dream return to his old stomping ground, by claiming four wickets on his Hampshire debut in their crucial Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Carter took four for 52 as the home county were skittled out for just 245 in 75 overs.

The tall fast bowler, who recently joined Hants, rocked Notts with an explosive burst of three wickets for just six runs in only 12 deliveries at the start of the day.

Chris Read resisted the visitors’ attack in making an unbeaten 70, scoring his runs from 100 balls, to get his side within 74 of Hampshire’s first innings total of 319.

Batting for a second time, Jimmy Adams reached the close on 68 not out as Hampshire ended on 106 for one, an overall lead of 180

Notts had begun the day on 39 for one but soon lost their nightwatchman, Jake Ball, plus Riki Wessels and Steven Mullaney in a fiery early burst from Carter.

Ball hoisted his first delivery of the day to midwicket, without adding to his overnight score of 14. Wessels tried to take on his former team-mate and lifted a bouncer into the hands of Mason Crane on the fence and Mullaney chopped a rising delivery onto his stumps.

The home side were reduced to 91 for six when Brendan Taylor clipped Gareth Berg to square leg and Samit Patel hobbled off lbw after being hit on the foot by a full-pitched delivery from Brad Wheal.

Michael Lumb became Carter’s fourth victim, caught behind for 39, after adding 54 with Read.

The Notts skipper shared in another useful partnership, as Luke Wood added 27 out of the 48 they put on together, before he fell to a short-pitched delivery from Ryan McLaren, which deflected via bat and helmet to Jimmy Adams at slip.

A missed stumping by Lewis McManus, from the bowling of Liam Dawson, reprieved Tahir on five and he responded by launching Crane’s leg spin for the only maximum of the innings.

The unlucky Dawson had bowled 19 overs without success before getting his eventual reward by polishing off the innings with successive deliveries to remove Tahir and Harry Gurney.

In the final session of the day Smith was dismissed lbw for the second time in the game, trapped by Gurney for 20 but Adams, his opening partner, brought up a stylish 50 from 82 balls, with nine fours.

With two days of this Division One match remaining, bottom-placed Hampshire hold a substantial advantage over the side immediately above them in the table.

Day Three:

Brilliant half-centuries from Jimmy Adams, Tom Alsop, Ryan McLaren and Liam Dawson have put Hampshire in a great position to secure victory in their Specsavers County Championship match aganst Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club at Trent Bridge.

Left to score a nominal 468 to win, from a minimum of 118 overs, Notts reached stumps on 42 for two on the third day.

Earlier, Hampshire had batted until after tea before declaring on 393 for seven. Jimmy Adams scored 99, Tom Alsop hit 93 and there were half centuries also for Ryan McLaren and Liam Dawson.

Imran Tahir, with three for 111, returned the best figures for the hosts.

Adams and Alsop had few alarms in extending their second wicket partnership to 160 before being separated just before lunch.

The left-handed Adams, whose career best score of 262 not out came at Trent Bridge in 2006, moved on to 99 but then cruelly feathered an attempted pull off Jake Ball through to Chris Read.

Alsop had brought up his 50 from 122 balls during his stand with Adams and advanced to his career best score before falling in the first hour of the middle session.

Tahir, who has played for both these sides during spells with five different English counties, picked up two wickets in quick succession.

Alsop went lbw and then Adam Wheater drilled a caught and bowled straight back to the South African international.

With Dawson and Ryan McLaren then adding 80 for the fifth wicket, Notts were delighted to make a further strike in the final over of the afternoon session.

Dawson had brought up his second fifty of the match from 85 balls but was bowled by Samit Patel for 69. The spinner made it two wickets in two balls as Lewis McManus edged his first ball into the hands of Steven Mullaney at slip. Gareth Berg survived the hat-trick delivery and moved on to 17 before nicking Tahir behind.

McLaren launched three enormous sixes over the midwicket ropes and was unbeaten on 71 when the declaration came.

Andy Carter, who took four wickets in Nottinghamshire’s first innings, struck with his first delivery of the second, having Jake Libby taken at square leg for nine.

Hampshire struck a further blow in the final over of the day as Will Smith held a juggling slip catch off Mason Crane to send back Riki Wessels for 11.

Day Four:

Hampshire moved off the bottom of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table and rekindled their hopes of survival with a victory by 176 runs over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Chasing a monumental target of 468, from a minimum of 118 overs, the home side fought strongly on the final day before being bowled out for 291, with Brad Wheal taking a career best six for 51.

Steven Mullaney made 137 for the home side, batting for a total of 308 minutes. His runs came from 277 deliveries, with 19 fours and a six but after his departure the ‘Wheal’s came off’ suddenly as Notts slid to their sixth defeat of the season.

Resuming from their overnight score of 42 for two, Nottinghamshire’s only realistic aim was to try and bat through the day for a draw. That seemed possible as Mullaney and Taylor held the visiting attack at bay until just before tea.

Their fourth wicket stand of 162 began to encourage some home supporters that a dramatic and unlikely victory charge was still possible.

That all changed either side of the afternoon interval, as Wheal picked up three victims in quick succession as Notts lost five wickets in 49 balls, whilst adding only 17 runs.

Mullaney’s hundred – the eleventh of his career - had come from 191 balls, with 17 fours and shortly afterwards he passed 1,000 first class runs for the season.

His departure; a leading edge off Wheal which flew to short extra cover, opened the floodgates. Samit Patel fell next ball, caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Lewis McManus.

Taylor had reached a dogged fifty from 93 balls but edged Mason Crane to slip in the final over of the middle session. Crane’s unfinished over accounted for Luke Wood and then Wheal, who had removed Michael Lumb in the early part of the day, pinned Jake Ball lbw.

Chris Read produced his usual act of defiance in making 23 but both he and Harry Gurney were bowled by Wheal to bring the contest to an end with 24 overs still remaining.

Hampshire’s win, their second of the season – both against Notts – earned 22 points and lifts them within catching distance of a cluster of other sides. With four matches left, a repeat of last season’s ‘great escape’ remains a possibility.