May 18, 2003

Hampshire struck by Lightning inbetween the showers

Victor Isaacs

Heavy showers throughout the morning and early afternoon delayed the start of this National League Division Two fixture between Lancashire and Hampshire at Old Trafford, and when umpires John Holder and Barrie Leadbeater finally pleased the crowd and the Sky television viewers by announcing a 3.20pm start, the match had been reduced to reduced to 30 overs per side.

John Crawley, returning to Lancashire for the first time since his controversial departure two years ago, won the toss and chose to put the Lightning into bat. It paid off immediately when Mascarenhas dismissed Sutcliffe and Chilton in successive balls (albeit with a wide inbetween), but that only brought together Lancashire's star batsman Stuart Loye and their latest import from Northamptonshire, Mal Loye.

Together they shared a 102 run third wicket partnership and on Loye's dismissal, well caught by Mullally off Shaun Udal, Carl Hooper put on 91 with his Australian colleague Law. Law was bowled by Chris Tremlett two short of a deserved century and the West Indian posted a half-century on his Lancashire one-day debut.

The Hampshire bowlers toiled in difficult conditions and were minus James Hamblin, who injured himself chasing a ball into the advertising boards.

Hamblin was fit enough to open the batting with his captain in their reduced Duckworth/Lewis target of 221 from 28 overs and they gave their side hope with a stiring 75 run opening stand. But when Hamblin was bowled by Mahmood, it preceded an immediate crash when four further wickets fell for just four more runs.

Katich first ball to medium-pacer Chilton, Smith for just two and John Francis, released from University duties, for no score.

Nic Pothas, Hampshire's 2003 run machine and Dimi Mascarenhas tried to repair the damage. The latter was particularly severe, hitting two huge sixes but he perished in the cause and Hampshire trundled to 150 all out with more than five overs to spare.