Match Report: Hampshire v Essex Eagles


Hampshire v Essex Eagles

Royal London Cup
Thursday 22 July, 11am
The Ageas Bowl


Team News:

Hampshire: Felix Organ, Tom Prest, Nick Gubbins, Joe Weatherley, Ian Holland, Lewis McManus (wk), James Fuller, Kyle Abbott (c), Tom Scriven, Scott Currie, John Turner.

Essex Eagles: Will Buttleman, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar, Shane Snater, Jamie Porter.

Match Details:

Umpires: Ian Blackwell & Mark Newell
Toss: Essex Eagles, who elected to field
Result: Essex Eagles win by 3 wickets

Scorecard – view here

Match Reaction: Tom Westley

Match Report:

Simon Harmer and Aron Nijjar struck an unbroken 54 run partnership to carry the Eagles to a 3 wicket victory in their opening match of the Royal London Cup against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Harmer struck 32 and Nijjar 27 and the pair batted superbly to ease their side to victory with 5.3 overs to spare after Hampshire had been bowled out for 273 in 49.1 overs.

In reply, the Eagles scored but when their eighth-wicket pair came together, a further 53 runs were still required.

But both batsmen played with coolness and assurance as they steadily picked off the runs to launch the Eagles 50-over campaign with a win after they were rocked by the loss of 2 wickets inside the first 2 overs of their reply.

Will Buttleman was lbw to Kyle Abbott without score and then Alastair Cook pulled to mid-wicket to give debutant John Turner a memorable scalp.

Now 8-2, Westley orchestrated a recovery mission. He put on 67 with Michael Pepper before the 23-year-old was bowled by Scott Currie for 34, a contribution that included 2 sixes and 4 other boundaries in a 34-ball innings.

Then he and Paul Walter carried the score to 137 with a fourth-wicket partnership of 62 in 10 and a half overs before Westley, having scored 69, drove to cover facing the bowling of Felix Organ.

The Eagles skipper had looked impressive whilst at the crease striking 12 cleanly hit boundaries amongst the 70 balls he received and it was the fourth time in his last four List A innings against these opponents that he had passed 50.

Walter and Ryan ten Doeschate both looked on course for the necessary substantial contributions to support the pathway laid by Westley but both fell when apparently well-set.

Walter had made 35 when a leading edge saw him caught at mid-off to leave the visitors 153-5 at the end of the 27th over. Adam Wheater joined ten Doeschate to keep the score moving along but having added 44 in 5.3 overs, the Eagles lost ten Doeschate who was caught and bowled by Scott Currle for 28.

Now 197-6 and 77 runs short of their target with 17 overs left, Wheater and Simon Harmer took their side 24 runs nearer until the wicketkeeper, having contributed 25, picked out mid-on to give Currie his third wicket of the innings.

But Nijjar joined Harmer in a composed liaison. With 8 overs remaining, only 17 runs were required and the pair could afford to be selective. 1 over from James Fuller yielded 12 runs helping the duo to a 50-run partnership in as many balls.

With 4 overs to go, just 4 runs were required and after Nijjar took a single from the second ball of the Kyle Abbott over, Harmer thrashed the next delivery to the boundary to seal the win.

Earlier, half-centuries by Nick Gubbins, Joe Weatherley and Lewis McManus proved the chief contributors in the Hampshire innings.

Harmer and Shane Snater proved the most successful wicket-takers for the Eagles with three victims apiece with the off-spinner conceding 42 runs in his 10 overs although Snater’s trio of victims cost 62 runs.

Snater had taken the new ball after Essex had elected to field and struck with his 11th delivery of the match. Tom Prest, still to get off the mark, had his off-stump knocked back.

His departure brought the arrival of on-loan Gubbins and the batsman, who will join Hampshire on a permanent basis from Middlesex from next season, showed his quality working the ball around the field comfortably.

He figured in two decent partnerships, first with Organ as 49 were added until the opener miscued a pull against Jamie Porter and was caught for 29. Then he combined with Joe Weatherley adding 72 in 13 overs before Gubbins edged behind off Snater just before the halfway point of the innings.

Gubbins had scored 62 from 59 balls that included 1 six and 6 fours and after Nijjar had taken a return catch from Ian Holland, Weatherley and McManus accelerated the scoring with a partnership of 33 in 4.1 overs.

Weatherley scored 54 before edging Harmer behind the wicket but Fuller proved a quick-coring ally for McManus as 55 runs were added in 6 overs.

Their half-century stand spanned 35 balls before Fuller was trapped in front of his stumps by ten Doeschate for 27 to leave Hampshire 224-6 in the 40th over.

McManus posted a 49-ball fifty before Snater had him caught at mid-wicket later in the over and with Harmer collecting 2 late wickets and another for Nijjar, the hosts innings came to a close after 49.1 overs with their last 6 overs producing just 125 runs.