Match Report: Hampshire v Essex


Hampshire v Essex

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Ageas Bowl, Southampton


Team News:

Hampshire: Ian Holland, Fletcha Middleton, Nick Gubbins, James Vince (c), Ben Brown (wk), Liam Dawson, Felix Organ, James Fuller, Kyle Abbott, John Turner, Mo Abbas.

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Matt Critchley, Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Adam Rossington (wk), Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Match Details:

Umpires: Mike Burns and Rob White
Match Referee: Wayne Noon
Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to bowl
Result: Essex won by 6 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Report:

Jamie Porter claimed the third 10-wicket haul of his career as Essex boosted their LV= Insurance County Championship title hopes while destroying Hampshire’s chances.

Paceman Porter followed up his first-innings five for 37 by snaring five for 46 in the second innings totalling up to match figures of 10 for 83.

It was his first 10-for away from the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford, first since 2018 and in his renaissance season now has a Division One leading 47 wickets this season.

Chasing 83 to win, Kyle Abbott claimed three for 23 but Nick Browne’s 28 and Paul Walter’s 28 not out took Essex to their sixth win of the season with a six-wicket victory.

Hampshire’s gamble to ask for a result pitch backfired as the usual Ageas Bowl seam-friendly pitch which flattens out never flattened out.

That meant almost incessant seam movement, coupled with invariable bounce, made batting tricky – typified by Nick Gubbins’ 45 being the highest individual score of the game and only 506 runs coming in total across the four innings.

Hampshire and Essex both knew going into the match that only the winner would realistically be able to challenge Surrey for the title.

Surrey will land on at least 167 points – and more likely 183 – after the conclusion of their clash with Somerset. Essex are now up to 166 points and Hampshire on 135, with 72 points still available.

Hampshire lost their remaining four wickets for nine runs in 25 balls – with Porter and Sam Cook sharing the scalps.

James Fuller’s back foot waft was caught behind to the ninth ball of the day before Abbott last four balls before he was brilliantly caught by a one-handed Simon Harmer pounce at second slip.

Porter added Hampshire to Somerset and Worcestershire in his 10-for victims when John Turner drove to Harmer.

Amongst the churn of batters, Nick Gubbins was still there having only moved his overnight total from 44 to 45. In seeing genuine No.11 Mohammad Abbas arrive at the crease he aborted his patient style and was bowled attempted to slog across the line. Hampshire bowled out for 131.

Essex had lost three wickets in their chase of 30 against Kent last week, albeit rushed by incoming rain. They threatened a similar wobble at the Ageas Bowl.

Abbott picked up Alastair Cook nicking behind a drive to the 10th ball of the innings before Tom Westley – the Division’s second highest run scorer – clipped to midwicket in the fourth over.

But Hampshire’s early jubilation was drowned by Browne grafting with Paul Walter – the pair chalking off 33 runs for the third wicket.

Browne was put down at mid off by Liam Dawson before eventually falling lbw to Abbas but the damage he had made through his four boundaries was already fatal to Hampshire’s chances.

Matt Critchley had the top of his off stump kissed by a beautiful Abbott in-ducker and Michael Pepper was softly dropped at square leg second ball with 29 still needed.

But Pepper and Walter guided Essex to victory in the extra half an hour before lunch.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Report:

Nick Gubbins gave Hampshire a sniff of saving their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture with Essex with a technically gifted unbeaten 44.

Hampshire looked on the brink of a fourth defeat of the season, which would have all but ended their title hopes, having given up a 49-run first-innings lead and lost four second-innings wickets before wiping out the deficit.

Jamie Porter was the main architect of the destruction with another three wickets to go with his first innings five for 37, but Gubbins showed a high level of control of a tricky pitch to reach the highest individual score of the match so far.

When the day-ending rain came at tea, he was six runs shy of a fifth half-century of the season and helped his side to a 73-run lead.

Essex lost their four remaining wickets for just 24 runs as the pitch lost its green tinge and became a much slower surface, albeit still favouring the bowlers with turn and invariable bounce coming to the fore.

Adam Rossington was challenged outside his off stump by John Turner to edge behind – the newly England-qualified fast bowler claiming Championship best of three for 23.

Sam Cook was leg-before to Kyle Abbott before Liam Dawson had Jamie Porter caught behind.

Shane Snater had been helped off the field just over 24 hours previous, having damaged his calf while bowling, but bravely reappeared with Michael Pepper as his runner. He lasted just three balls before he was lbw to Dawson.

Essex’s 169 had put them on top in the match before their new ball bowling rammed home their dominance.

Ian Holland was the latest member to get back on the Hampshire opening batter merry-go-round against Nottinghamshire last time out, and took his chance with a sensational 138 not out.

But the frustrating inconsistency at the top of the order, which has seen Felix Organ and Joe Weatherley discarded this season, struck as his first-innings three was joined by a second innings four as Porter had him lbw.

Fletcha Middleton, who has opened throughout the season, only made eight before Sam Cook stung his pads.

Gubbins had top scored for Hampshire in the first innings with 25 and demonstrated great patience, and trust in his exemplary technique, by taking 13 balls to get off the mark.

He put on 34 with James Vince – who suffered a blow to the box when the ball misbehaved – before the captain hoicked to long leg off Paul Walter’s first ball – the tall left-armer picking him up in both innings.

Ben Brown was unconvincing in his edge to gully, Dawson filthy with himself after going back to Harmer and dragging on before Organ was Porter’s eighth victim of the match with another leg-before.

Gubbins, who had an early life when an edge went through second slip, responded to that wicket by crouching onto his haunches and squatting a praying pose with the lead at a nominal 41.

His worship was answered in the form of James Fuller, who joined him in an unbroken 32-run stand which nudged Hampshire towards setting Essex a target of note. However, the visitors remain heavy favourites.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Report:

Jamie Porter claimed a five-wicket haul as Essex rolled title rivals Hampshire out for 120 in the LV=Insurance County Championship.

Fast bowler Porter took five for 37 on a bowler-friendly Ageas Bowl pitch, with Simon Harmer assisting with three for 26.

Essex replied by reaching 145 for six before close, to take a 25-run lead into day two, with two wickets apiece for Kyle Abbott and John Turner kept the visitors in check.

Essex won the toss and Tom Westley gleefully put his hosts into bat first on a pitch on which appeared to have been prepared to promote a positive result.

That outcome is needed for both sides, placed second and third coming into this round of fixtures, in their quests to chase down runaway leaders Surrey – who led Essex and Hampshire by 14 and 29 points with four matches to go.

Hampshire are 50 years without a Championship title and is the only trophy Rod Bransgrove hasn’t won in his 23 years as chairman – this will be his last chance after announcing his decision to step down at the end of the season before play.

Hampshire openers Ian Holland and Fletcha Middleton were both snared out by Porter before seven overs had been completed.

But Essex’s early joy was tainted by Shane Snater – who had replaced the ill Doug Bracewell – limping off after five balls, having pulled out of a delivery just before reaching his stride.

The loss of a main bowler mattered little as Paul Walter stepped up and angled across James Vince, and with Hampshire eventually bowled out inside 39 overs it meant fewer miles in the legs.

Ben Brown was well caught at first slip by Simon Harmer, Nick Gubbins was loose on the drive off Porter and Liam Dawson top-edged a sweep to fine leg to leave Hampshire 79 for six at lunch.

Porter is back to his destructive best this season after a series of lean seasons, by his high standards.

Having put himself on the England radar with Championship wicket tallies of at least 48 between 2015 and 2019, Porter claimed 34 scalps in 2021 and only 19 wickets last season, with Sam Cook rising to lead the attack.

His five at the Ageas Bowl took him to 42 wickets for the season – only spinning team-mate Harmer and Nottinghamshire’s Brett Hutton have more.

Porter was rewarded for his potent accuracy with his second five-for of the season by spearing into Felix Organ’s back pad, before James Fuller advanced and slapped the next ball he bowled to deep cover.

Harmer wrapped up the tail with Turner edging to slip and Mohammad Abbas slogged to long on as Hampshire were bowled out for 120.

In reply, Nick Browne was bowled by Abbas in the fifth over. as the pitch remained unmoved in its bowling friendliness.

Abbott picked up Alastair Cook and Paul Walter in a double wicket maiden to see Essex to 16 for three and in danger of copying Hampshire’s low score.

But Essex did something Hampshire couldn’t do; form partnerships.

Only Gubbins and Vince’s 39-run stand had topped 20, while Tom Westley and Matt Critchley added 41 before Critchley and Michael Pepper scored 36 together before Pepper and Adam Rossington joined forces for 25.

Vince, who managed to negotiate his way to three replacement balls, only called on Vitality Blast hero Turner in the 34th over.

The wait had Turner raring to go as he bounded in to crash into Critchley’s pads first ball before later finding Pepper’s outside edge.

Essex edged into a first-innings lead with Rossington and Harmer reaching the end of the day with a platform to secure an important first-innings lead.