4 Jul 2021 | LV= Insurance County Championship 2021
Hampshire
72 all out
17 for 8
Surrey
488 all out
Surrey trail Hampshire by 399 runs with 7 wickets remaining

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

Hampshire draw with Surrey at The Ageas Bowl

Day One

Jordan Clark and Rikki Clarke stepped up in impressive fashion as Surrey's undermanned bowling attack reduced Hampshire to 229-7 on day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship clash at the Ageas Bowl.

The duo grabbed three wickets apiece after Kyle Jamieson was forced off the field after just six overs due to injury.
Surrey were also without England batsman Ollie Pope who missed the match due to a thigh strain picked up in Friday's Vitality Blast defeat by Kent.

Rory Burns won the toss and elected to field under gloomy skies but despite the bowling friendly conditions Hampshire held firm, losing only Joe Weatherley in the first session to reach lunch on 62/1.

But the Surrey seamers were rewarded for some tight and disciplined bowling after the restart as they ripped through the home side's top order.
Veteran former England all-rounder Clarke had bowled well without luck, seeing a regulation slip catch grassed by Jamie Overton when Tom Alsop was on 17, then having a no-ball called against him when Ian Holland was caught by Ryan Patel.

But Alsop failed to take advantage of his good fortune when he edged Clark to Jamie Smith behind the stumps for 29.

Alsop's exit brought Nick Gubbins to the crease for the first time as a Hampshire player following his loan move from Middlesex.

The left-hander, who will join on a permanent basis at the end of the season following the shock departure of Sam Northeast to Yorkshire on Friday, looked in fine touch with a gorgeous cut shot to the boundary early in his innings.

Gubbins then brought up his new side's hundred with a sumptuous drive down the ground, only to perish when on 17 after his attempt at a cut-shot off Overton was caught behind by Smith.

James Vince produced a typically pleasing but brief innings when Clarke, who had been dispatched to the boundary three times by the home skipper, got his revenge when he trapped the elegant right-hander lbw for 16.

Holland continued his fine form at the top of the order with his third 50 of the campaign, but became Clark's third victim when he dragged onto his stumps for 58, reducing the home side to 155-5.

A fifty-run stand from Colin de Grandhomme and Lewis McManus took Hampshire past the 200-mark before Clark struck again when McManus was caught down the leg-side by Smith for 24.

Keith Barker was dismissed without scoring to hand 39-year-old Clarke his third wicket before play was called off for the day due to rain and bad light with Colin de Grandhomme unbeaten on 48 and Felix Organ on three. 

Day Two

A magnificent 174 not out from Colin de Grandhomme put Hampshire in full control of the LV= Insurance County Championship Group Two clash against Surrey at the Ageas Bowl.

The New Zealand Test all-rounder became only the eighth Hampshire player to score a debut first-class century as Surrey's under-manned attack, still missing injured Kiwi quick Kyle Jamieson, were put to the sword by an inspired lower order who added 259 for the last three wickets to score 488 having started the day on 229-7.

Surrey were 42-4 at the close following a fine spell of bowling from Keith Barker who posted figures of 3-15 from 10 overs.

Former South Africa batsman Hashim Amla - a double centurion when the sides last met in May at the Kia Oval - was unbeaten on 24 and Will Jacks one not out before rain and bad light stopped play with Surrey needing another 296 runs just to avoid the follow-on.

De Grandhomme, who came to the crease on day one when his side were struggling at 135-4, was in imperious touch with the bat, hitting 17 fours and three sixes on his way to his biggest first-class score in a memorable first red-ball appearance.

The 34-year-old was well supported by Felix Organ's enterprising 67 and No.11 batsman Brad Wheal who chipped in with a career-high 45 as Hampshire posted an imposing total in their push for a victory that would greatly enhance their prospects of a top-two finish.

Having spent a day-and-a-half in the field, Surrey then got off to the worst possible start when Mark Stoneman departed for a golden duck from the opening ball of Kyle Abbott's first over.  

Abbott sent down a peach of a delivery that the former England opener had no option but to play at and Joe Weatherley took a sharp diving catch.

That early loss was compounded by the exit of Surrey captain Rory Burns just before tea.

Barker found the edge of the England man's bat and Weatherley took another sharp grab at second slip as the visitors fell to 8-2.

Left-arm seamer Barker then struck twice more after the restart in a superb maiden over, rattling the stumps of Ryan Patel and Jamie Smith before the players were taken off by  umpires Ian Gould and Chris Watts.

Day Three

Hampshire will hope rain can stay away from the Ageas Bowl on day four of the LV = County Championship clash as they push for a crucial victory over Surrey.

Showers over Southampton kept the players off the field until 5pm, but Surrey, who resumed on 42/4, ended a truncated day on 6-2 - having followed-on after being bundled out for 72. in response to Hampshire's 488.

The visitors trail by 410 runs after the Hampshire bowlers ran amok with Brad Wheal striking with the last ball of the day to dismiss England opener Rory Burns for a duck after Keith Barker had dismissed Mark Stoneman - leaving nightwatchman Amar Virdi at the crease when play resumes on Wednesday.

Two scheduled restarts had earlier been scuppered due to brief, but heavy downpours that drenched the outfield. 

But Hampshire more than made up for that lost time as Surrey lost 6-30 in just under an hour and were immediately sent back into bat again by stand-in skipper Kyle Abbott.

The hosts will be without captain James Vince for the rest of the match after he and Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks were sent to Cardiff for England's makeshift ODI squad against Pakistan owing to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Vince has been replaced by 18-year-old batting prodigy Tom Prest who makes his first-class debut.  

Abbott struck in the fifth over after the restart with a ball that nipped back and pinned debutant Ben Geddes, who replaced Jacks, on his crease to be lbw for four.

Hashim Amla, a double centurion when the sides met at the Kia Oval in May, then fell to a peach of a delivery from Barker, who finished with 4-21, that uprooted his leg stump with the former South Africa Test batsman top scoring with 29.

Jordan Clark and Rikki Clarke were both dismissed cheaply by Wheal with Abbott striking again to trap Jamie Overton lbw for four.

Abbott then wrapped up the innings when he diverted a Kyle Jamieson shot onto the stumps of Virdi, leaving Surrey well short of a batting point.

Victory for Hampshire, who sit third in Group Two will greatly enhance their hopes of a top-two finish ahead next week's meeting with second-placed Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Day Four

A defiant batting display for the ages from Hashim Amla staved off defeat for Surrey and thwarted Hampshire's push for victory and their quest top-two finish in Group Two of the LV = County Championship.

Resuming on 6/2, Surrey held on for an unlikely draw, reaching 128-8, with former South Africa batsman Amla batting all day to be unbeaten on 37 from 278 balls. 

 
Amla demonstrated incredible restraint to repel an attack that bowled an incredible 64 maidens and over 500 dot balls in an glacial innings where the hosts were made to pay dearly for three dropped catches.

Despite Amla's heroics, the result almost certainly ended any chance of Surrey being one of six teams to qualify to play in division one later in the season and the opportunity to win the title and the Bob Willis Trophy.

Hampshire now require victory over Gloucestershire starting on Sunday, in a potential winner-take-all clash at Cheltenham, to keep alive their season, with Surrey facing leaders Somerset at the Kia Oval.

Amla scored just three runs from the first 100 balls he faced and did not find the boundary rope until the 125th ball of his brave vigil, where he took three heavy blows to the body that had many traditionalists at the Ageas Bowl purring.

Hampshire's attack bowled tirelessly but were left to rue the dropped chances - including a simple opportunity grassed by Ian Holland at leg slip 17 overs from the close when Amla was put down off the admirable Keith Barker, who finished with figures of 3-9 from 22 overs.

Following-on after being bundled out for just 72 in response to the home side's 488, the visitors scored just 18 runs in the first session with nightwatchman Amar Virdi the only wicket to fall.

Ryan Patel should have joined Virdi back in the pavilion before lunch but was given two lives after being dropped by Kyle Abbott, off a caught-and-bowled chance, and Joe Weatherley's second slip spill.

Although those missed opportunities cost only 14 runs, they crucially allowed Patel to soak up 85 balls before his off-stump was uprooted by Abbott after lunch.

Felix Organ took Hampshire's third wicket of the day when Jamie Smith's inside edge looped into the hands of Holland, before first-innings centurion Colin de Grandhomme bowled debutante Ben Geddes for 15.

Barker got his third wicket when Jordan Clark was trapped lbw for four, before Organ raised hopes of a home victory when he bowled Jamie Overton.
 
However, Amla and fellow fellow veteran Rikki Clarke held firm for the final nine overs to see out the draw.