On This Day: ''Best Four Day Game I've Ever Played In''

On this day - 1st June - twenty years ago Hampshire began a County Championship match against Surrey at the Oval, one Will Kendall, despite the result, speaks very highly of

Hampshire Cricket's historian Dave Allen takes a look back on timely memorable moments in his ‘On This Day’ series.

Surrey v Hampshire, County Championship: 1st June - 4th June 2000

Twenty years ago, Hampshire started a match at the Oval which Will Kendall described as the “best four-day game that I have ever played in”. He added that the pitch was superb, encouraging all the players, while London managed to avoid most of the bad weather elsewhere in the country.

Towards the end of day one, Surrey were 215-8 with four wickets for Simon Francis but into the next morning Bicknell and Tudor took them to 333. Giles White (96) led Hampshire’s response but Surrey’s two batting heroes shared seven wickets and Surrey led on first innings by 123 runs.

Mullally and Francis had Surrey 44-4 in their second innings, then Warne with 5-31 finished the job and Hampshire’s target was 266 to win – and plenty of time to do that.

They lost both openers, to close day three on 58-2, but early on the final day a clatter of wickets left Hampshire in deep trouble at 87-6 and despite a half-century from Warne, at 173-9 the task seems hopeless with Simon Francis joining ‘Dimi’ Mascarenhas who had pulled a hamstring and needed a runner.

They made steady progress towards that distant target however, confidence growing by the over.

Then, with just five runs needed, tea was taken. Two runs were added after the break but then ‘Dimi’ (59) tried to hook a short ball from Tudor, managed only to send it back to the bowler and Surrey had won by just two runs (Francis 30*).

Match Scorecard

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