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Monday, September 20, 2021

Liam Dawson takes five as nine Notts wickets fall in final session to send Hampshire top of table


Mullaney dubs Ageas Bowl pitch “unacceptable” as Vince says Championship “is in our hands”

Hampshire 226 (Gubbins 54) and 178 (Vince 52, Patterson-White 5-41) beat Nottinghamshire 155 (Slater 55, Patterson-White 53, Barker 7-46) and 127 (Dawson 5-45) by 122 runs

Nine wickets in the final session meant Hampshire beat Nottinghamshire to leapfrog them at the top of the County Championship table and put them in pole position to win their first title since 1973. Hampshire’s captain, James Vince, announced, “the Championship
is in our hands”, but there could be trouble for his side after Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney dubbed the Ageas Bowl pitch, “unacceptable for a first-class game”.
Spinners Liam Dawson and Felix Organ both took season’s bests, with for 45 and 3 for 22 respectively, as Nottinghamshire’s final eight wickets fell in 30 overs as Hampshire won by 122 runs. Depending on the result between Yorkshire and Warwickshire tomorrow, Hampshire’s fixture against Lancashire next week could be a straight shootout for the title. Meanwhile, defeat for Nottinghamshire sees them slip to third in the table but only 6.5 points from top spot after the title race was blown wide open in Southampton.

Watching a home team bowl themselves to victory is one of cricket’s greatest pleasures. Each wicket brings an explosion of joy and tangible progress compared to the prolonged mental anguish of witnessing a chase. The ripples of applause that accompany a boundary are
replaced by roars of jubilation as another wicket falls.

That the crowd witnessed anything at all was a surprise in itself. The forecast had been apocalyptic as recently as the day before and as of 9:30am it was grey and horrible. At a guess, the 25,000 seater, international cricket venue had an official attendance at that point of one, as a single brave soul sat in the stands reading his book.

However, his optimism was well rewarded. The skies cleared and an early decision was made to start play at 1pm which saw hundreds filter into the ground. From a position of no hope we all of a sudden had the pleasant surprise of an intriguing day’s play ahead. It was the cricket fan’s equivalent of pulling on an old pair of trousers and finding a fiver in the pocket.

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