19 May 2021 | LV= Insurance County Championship 2021
Hampshire
5 all out
26 for 1
Leicestershire
233 all out
0 for 0
Leicestershire trail Hampshire by 228 runs with 8 wickets remaining

Match Report: Hampshire v Leicestershire, LV= Insurance County Championship

Hampshire draw with Leicestershire at The Ageas Bowl

Day One

A torrential downpour after lunch saw play abandoned on the opening day of the  LV= Insurance County Championship clash between Hampshire and Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl.

Hampshire were 53-1 when the decision was taken to call off play for the day due to a saturated outfield after an early tea had been taken, with Ian Holland unbeaten on 24 and Tom Alsop 15 not out in front of 1,300 Hampshire members.

The start of the match, which is the first in England to host paying spectators since September 2019, was delayed due to soggy ground in the bowlers' run-ups, with visiting skipper Colin Ackermann winning the toss and choosing to field before play got underway at noon.

Chris Wright and Alex Evans, bowled well without luck before the struggling Joe Weatherley edged a decent delivery from Wright to Ackermann at slip for 11.

The former England U-19 captain has endured a tough season at the top of the order where he averages 15.81 from his last 11 innings and remains the only player in Hampshire's top-six not to post a half-century this season.

Holland should have followed his opening partner back to the pavilion when Wright tempted him with a wide delivery only for Rishi Patel to put the chance down just before lunch.

Alsop and Holland put on 33 runs for the second wicket before play was abandoned at 4pm.


Day Two

Ed Barnes grabbed three wickets as Leicestershire kept Hampshire's powerful batting line-up in check on a day punctuated by rain delays at the Ageas Bowl.

After only 26.2 overs were possible on the opening day, 56 were lost on day two following a three-and-a-half hour break after lunch - the second of two rain delays - as the hosts closed on 223-7.

In bitterly cold and windy conditions - more akin to mid-winter than mid-May - it was to the credit of the Leicestershire seam attack that they managed to pick up six wickets over the course of the day.

Alex Evans, who had Ian Holland dropped by Rishi Patel for 12 on Wednesday, looked to have made an early breakthrough when he bowled Tom Alsop off an inside edge only for umpire Martin Saggers to rule it a no-ball.

But the 20-year-old redeemed himself in his very next over when he squared Alsop up with a full-length delivery and skipper Colin Ackermann took the catch at slip to dismiss the left-hander for 25.

Sam Northeast, then fell for two to a superb ball from Chris Wright who found a way through the former Kent captain's defence and clipped the top of his off-stump.

Holland, who has been in fine form this season, passed 50 for fifth time in 11 innings and looked well on course for his third century of the campaign when he stroked three boundaries from a Gavin Griffiths over before lunch.

But the opener's stylish knock came to an end on 82 when he played all around a straight ball from Barnes and was trapped on the pad just before rain took the players off for the first time.

Play resumed over an hour later and Barnes should have grabbed the key wicket of James Vince, who scored 231 when the sides last met in April, but Patel put down yet another catch at gully when the Hampshire skipper was on 19 .

But his blushes were spared when Barnes deceived Vince with a slower ball that thumped the England batsman's front pad and umpire Nigel Llong raised the finger to send him on his way for 32.

With pitchside advertising hoardings being blown to the ground and Leicestershire wicketkeeper Harry Swindells finding himself scampering across the outfield to retrieve his helmet as it tumbled towards the boundary rope there seemed little hope of play resuming when rain started to fall.

However, thanks to the hard work of the Hampshire ground staff, play got underway again at 6pm with the hosts losing Liam Dawson for 19 and then Lewis McLeod for 15 with Barnes and Evans taking the wickets.


Day Three

Torrential rain once again accounted for most of day three at the Ageas Bowl - but not before eight wickets fell for just 38 runs inside 11 overs.

Hampshire started the day on 223-7 underneath leaden skies in Southampton, but added only 10 to their overnight total before running through Leicestershire's top order as the visitors slumped to 28-5 before play was halted just before lunch.

In-form Hampshire all-rounder Keith Barker, fresh from back-to-back 50s, clubbed the first two balls of the day for four off Ed Barnes but departed to the first ball of the next over for 24 when he slashed Chris Wright straight to Rishi Patel at gully.

Wright then trapped Kyle Abbott lbw five deliveries later for his fourth wicket before Brad Wheal edged Ed Barnes to Hassan Azad in the slips, handing the young Yorkshireman his career-best figures of 4-61.
 
With the wind howling around the ground, Abbott, who grabbed 11 wickets at Lord's last week, and Abass tormented the Leicestershire top order with the new ball, in conditions tailor-made for two high-class Test quicks.

Azad survived six deliveries before being trapped on the pads in front of his stumps by Abbott, with fellow opener Sam Evans suffering a similar fate at the hands of his former county teammate Abass for just five.

Australian Test opener Marcus Harris, a century-maker against Surrey last week, was the next batsman to perish when he played no shot to an Abass delivery that nipped back and clipped the top off-stump to leave his side reeling at 8-3.

Visiting skipper Colin Ackermann was unable to stem the bleeding as his stumps were cleaned up by Abbott before Lewis Scott joined him back in the pavilion when he edged the South African to Lewis McLeod behind the stumps to become the fifth Leicestershire wicket to fall in 45 balls.

Patel showed some fight with back-back boundaries off Abbot before the players left the field with Leicestershire needing another 55 more runs to avoid the follow-on.


Day Four

Rain quashed Hampshire's push for victory against Leicestershire as a match dominated by the weather finished in a draw at the Ageas Bowl.

After the start of play was delayed by three hours due to a wet outfield, Leicestershire avoided the follow-on by one run after a last-wicket stand of 30 from Ed Barnes and Alex Evans helped their side limp to 84 all out in response to Hampshire's first innings score of 233.

With 22 overs of the day remaining, James Vince opted during the tea break to forfeit his side's second innings and dangle the carrot of a 150-run victory target in front of Foxes skipper Colin Ackermann.

But the Group Two cellar-dwellers refused to take the bait, blocking out 17 overs for 26 runs, losing only opener Sam Evans, who became Kyle Abbott's seventh wicket of the match in what was a typically wholehearted and high-class bowling performance.

The players shook hands at 6pm with four overs of the day remaining, shortly after a moment of mild moment of controversy when Australian opener Marcus Smith looked to have edged Keith Barker to Liam Dawson at slip, but much to the chagrin of the all-rounder it was adjudged not to have carried.

Just 80.5 overs were bowled across the first three days before play finally got underway at 2pm with the Foxes resuming on 28-5 and needing another 55 runs to make Hampshire bat again.

Abbott bowled superbly for his 6-47 - his third successive five-wicket haul after the 11 he picked in the victory over Middlesex last week.

Hampshire, chasing their fourth win of the season, struck in the third over of the day when Abbott had Harry Swindells caught superbly by Dawson for eight.

Two further rain delays accounted for 11 more overs but Abbot and Mohammad Abass, who took 3-19, continued to run amok in perfect bowling conditions as the visitors slumped to 54-9 when the South African quick ended the admirable resistance of Rishi Patel for 27.

However, the young fast bowling duo of Barnes and Evans dug in manfully as Leicestershire nudged their way past the follow-on target before Lewis McManus took a simple catch when Brad Wheal located the edge of Jones' bat.