Edwards Takes Five Wickets As Hampshire Finish With Draw

Fidel Edwards recorded figures of 5-79 on a thrilling final day of the County Championship clash Uxbridge

Day One

The opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash between reigning champions Middlesex and third-placed Hampshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to unfit playing conditions at Uxbridge Cricket Club.

Heavy rain on Monday evening ran down the slope at the Park Road sports complex and crept under the covers and sheets leaving umpires Graham Lloyd and Russell Evans with little option but to call things off after their second inspection at 11am.

Groundstaff had used heat lamps and a 'Supersopper' from the early hours in a bid to improve conditions but their efforts proved useless in the face of sodden conditions and heavy waterlogging.


Day Two

Fidel Edwards took two wickets as Hampshire performed with the ball in a rain-affected second day of their County Championship tie with Middlesex at Uxbridge.

Edwards (2-32) impressed in bowler-friendly conditions, picking up the key wickets of Nick Compton (16) and Steve Eskinazi (13).

Ian Holland (1-9) claimed the other Hampshire wicket, with Sam Robson (28) edging to the slips but a sharp rain shower during the afternoon session meant just 30.2 overs were possible on day two.

Hampshire were dealt a blow before play got underway, with stand-in captain James Vince suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-ups, meaning that Jimmy Adams took on the role of stand-in skipper.

This meant a debut for 18-year-old batsman Felix Organ, who had scored a century whilst playing in the Second XI’s in their friendly with Glamorgan at The Ageas Bowl.

After an uncontested toss, Hampshire elected to bowl first, and the visitors began positively estricting Middlesex to 21-0 after the opening ten overs.

The breakthrough came with Middlesex on 40-1, Edwards re-arranging the stumps of Compton with a beautiful delivery in the fifth over of his spell.

Holland changed ends and soon reaped the rewards in just his second over by finding the outside edge of Robson, who was brilliantly caught in the slips by Adams to leave the hosts on 58-2.

It was soon 62-3 after another superb catch behind the stumps, Tom Alsop diving and holding on brilliantly to dismiss Eskinazi handing Edwards his second scalp in 15 deliveries.

Two brief rain showers temporarily halted proceedings, with Adam Voges (6*) and Max Holden (1*) guiding the hosts to 71-3 at the interval.

Light drizzle returned just three overs after lunch as the players went off for another rain delay, with the umpires being extra cautious given the condition that the pitch was left in after the opening day.

A heavy shower followed and soon after the outfield was deemed too wet for any further play.


Day Three

Kyle Abbott took two late wickets as Hampshire enjoyed the better of a rain-affected third day against Middlesex at Uxbridge in the County Championship.

Abbott (2-19) returned late on to claim two scalps in as many overs as Middlesex suffered a middle-order collapse to present Hampshire with another bowling point.

There were also more wickets for Fidel Edwards (3-63) and Ian Holland (2-31), with stand-in captain Jimmy Adams taking the catch at second slip on both occasions.

No play was possible in the morning with the players taking an early lunch that was scheduled for midday in the hope that there may be some action in the afternoon session.

There were further inspections at both 1pm and 2pm, with the umpires taking the decision to call an early tea, with a fourth inspection being planned for 3pm, and an early tea being taken as a result.

There was a scheduled start for 3:30pm, but after further rain that was pushed back to 4:15pm, with 28.5 overs remaining in the days play.

Voges increased the intent as Middlesex passed the three figures despite an economical spell from Abbott, who bowled three consecutive maidens.

Fidel Edwards was the star on day two, and it took less than three overs for him to pick up his third wicket, finding the edge of Voges (27) with Adams taking a superb low catch in the slips.

Holden (35) was playing well, but after a patient innings, he poked at a ball outside off stump with Ian Holland finding the edge of the debutant.

Abbott then bowled Middlesex captain Franklin (0) in just his second ball of his new spell to give his side another bowling point.

The seamer had another wicket in his very next over, with Jamie Harris (0) offering no shot as he was trapped right in front as the hosts fell from 138-4 to 154-7.

John Simpson (15*) and Ollie Rayner (4*) ensured there were no further alarms as Middlesex ended the day on 162-7.


Day Four

Fidel Edwards claimed his first five-wicket haul for Hampshire in two years as their County Championship clash with Middlesex at Uxbridge ended in a draw.

Edwards ripped through the tail as the hosts were dismissed for 204 in their first innings, with Kyle Abbott (3-25) claiming the other wicket of the day.

In reply, Joe Weatherley (35) impressed with the bat for Hampshire, but his side were bowled out for just 146 before Gareth Berg (1-9) restricted Middlesex to 14-1 in their second innings when the rain fell.

Abbott continued his form from last night, by claiming the first wicket in the fourth over of the day, with Ollie Rayner (9) chipping up to Mason Crane, who took a low, diving catch at square leg.

Edwards then picked up his fourth wicket of the innings, trapping tail-ender Tom Helm (1) in front of all three stumps as Middlesex fell from 168-7 to 169-9 in a difficult morning.

John Simpson (36) upped the intent in a six-over burst alongside Steven Finn to get his side their first batting point as they moved beyond 200.

Edwards then clean bowled the wicket-keeper batsman to claim his first five-wicket haul since September 2015 as Middlesex were dismissed for 204.

Weatherley got his side off to a fast start in reply, crunching three boundaries in Steven Finn’s opening over as the visitors raced to 15-0 after two overs.

His opener partner Jimmy Adams (2) fell in the very next over, edging behind off Tom Helm (3-43) as Hampshire lost their first wicket.

Despite this, youngster Weatherley (35) continued to play positively, with his side progressing onto 41-1 after just seven overs, but fell shortly after with Helm claiming his second scalp of the innings.

Helm and Harris had been applying the pressure, but Rayner came and enjoyed instant success, with Tom Alsop (9) feathering behind to Simpson meaning lunch was called with Hampshire on 46-3.

The wickets continued to fall after the interval, with Ervine giving Simpson his third catch of the game as Hampshire lost three wickets without adding to their total.

Ian Holland (23) played with intent alongside debutant Felix Organ, hitting three boundaries off Rayner (1-26), but his decision to hit him out of the attack proved costly, and he was then bowled his replacement Harris.

Calvin Dickinson (1) then came and went in a brief innings as Hampshire continued to lose wickets, with Organ being bowled by Harris (2-27) as three wickets fell in as many overs with the visitors collapsing from 89-4 to 96-7 and in danger of trailing Middlesex’s first innings total.

However, as they have done for most of the season, both Gareth Berg and Abbott guided their side out of trouble before their 31-run stand was ended in the most unfortunate circumstances.

Berg drove Harris straight back down the track, but the Middlesex bowler got his fingertips onto it and Abbott was out of his ground and had to depart.

Berg (22) was then bowled shortly after as two wickets fell in just seven deliveries with the visitors falling to 132-9, with Middlesex acquiring maximum bowling points.

Edwards (3) was the last man to all, with Finn (3-41) bowling a fierce yorker as Hampshire were dismissed for 146 in their first innings, still trailing by 58 runs.

Middlesex began their second innings in cautious circumstances, with Berg picking up the wicket of Sam Robson (0) with Adams holding onto yet another catch in the slip cordon.

However, over nine overs were possible before light drizzle forced the players off, with Nick Compton (11*) and Steve Eskinazi (3*) guiding the hosts to 14-1.

The rain continued to fall and both sets of players shook hands and the game ended in a draw.