September 21, 2003

Hawks promoted to Division I, despite defeat

Victor Isaacs

Hampshire Hawks suffered their fourth successive defeat in the ECB National League Division II, losing to the Derbyshire Scorpions by 9, when from a winning position they lost 7 wickets for 20 runs. Despite this, elsewhere Middlesex Crusaders were suffering an ignominious defeat at the hands of Durham Dynamos, giving the Hawks the third promotion spot.

Dimitri Mascarenhas bowled his 9 overs through taking two wickets cheaply to give the visitors a good start. It was not an easy track to bat on, as Derbyshire who chose to use it first on winning the toss proved. They struggled against tight bowling. Chaminda Vaas playing his last match for Hampshire bowled a tidy spell taking the wicket of the dangerous Michael diVenuto, but it was James Hamblin with three wickets that left Derbyshire with a modest total.

Simon Katich, also in his last match for the county gave the reply a good start, and in doing passed Chris Smith's 1984 National/Sunday League Hampshire record of 720 runs, but he was out hitting out and was caught at the long off boundary.

Derek Kenway struggled to advance his score, and was finally run out following a mix-up with his captain for a painstaking 33 off 77 balls. From then the rot set in, new batsmen coming to the crease on a tricky wicket and advancing gloom in the sky found life hard. Chris Harris the New Zealand all-rounder bowled tidy as did Ali, the one who likes to name himself after the great boxer.

Perhaps the Hampshire players were aware of the early result from Riverside, and the pressure was off, but it was certainly not the best way to sign off what has been despite the promotion a disappointing season.