Thrilling Finish As 250th Anniversary Marked In Style At Broadhalfpenny Down

A Hampshire XI faced an All England XI at Hambledon to mark the 250th anniversary of the first ever First Class match

2022 is a year of celebration at Broadhalfpenny Down, the home of the Hambledon Club, as it marks the 250th anniversary of the famed ground hosting the first ever First-Class match back in 1772.

And the celebrations peaked on Friday as Broadhalfpenny Down hosted a charity match between a Hampshire XI and an All England XI, replicating that first ever match played back in the 18th century.

The Hampshire XI – captained by Mark Nicholas and featuring a host of former Hampshire players as well as current Southern Vipers stars – won the toss and chose to bat first in the 30 over a-side, red ball match on a slightly overcast day.

Former Hampshire batter and current Director of Cricket, Giles White, opened the batting and played some typically classy strokes before retiring for 30.

Hampshire legend and ex-captain Captain Mark Nicholas said: "We can trace ourselves in this game back to him in 50 years by playing today, in the end, this is where the first first class match was played. Therefore it was it was the starting point for county cricket in England and that's special."

Hampshire’s innings lost a little impetus in the middle overs but Southern Vipers captain, Georgia Adams, and James Bruce added some firepower in the innings closing stages as Hampshire set the All England XI a challenging 175 to win from their 30 overs.

In reply, the All England XI struggled, losing two early wickets – the second of which brought England legend, Charlotte Edwards, to the crease.

Edwards, along with Suman Shrestha, put on 40 as the All England XI recovered. Chris Tremlett – former Hampshire and England bowler – came in at seven and took 24 runs from one over as well as hitting what has been described as ‘’the biggest six ever seen at Broadhalfpenny Down in living memory’’.

All England XI’s chase twisted and turned and the last ball of the match arrived with Tremlett needing to hit a boundary to complete a successful run chase. A good delivery meant Tremlett could only find Georgia Adams on the cover boundary as the Hampshire XI – as they did back in 1772 - won by three runs.

Chairman of the Broadhalfbenny Down Preservation Trust, Michael Beardall was overjoyed with the turnout at the event and the impact the anniversary has on the game; "We're just so lucky we've got this great ground and we really want to put it on the map as one of the jewells in the crown of Hampshire and actually of English cricket 250 years ago, the first, first class match was played here. We're delighted to be celebrating that today and this season."

The celebrations continue at Broadhalfpenny Down throughout the year, for more information on what’s planned please visit www.broadhalfpennydown.co.uk.

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