Hampshire v Leicestershire, Ageas Bowl, 4th day September 3, 2014

Ervine helps Hants take big stride to promotion

Press Association

Hampshire 497 for 8 dec. (Adams 251, Carberry 110) beat Leicestershire 303 (Robson 115) and 160 (Cobb 50*, Ervine 3-22) by an innings and 34 runs

Matt Coles and Sean Ervine each took three cheap wickets as Hampshire took a giant step towards promotion by crushing Leicestershire by an innings and 34 runs at the Ageas Bowl.

Coles took 3 for 67 to give the burly former Kent player seven for the match and Ervine, an occasional bowler these days, took two wickets in his first over to finish with 3 for 22. But in truth the resistance they encountered was late and spasmodic.

Leicestershire were second best throughout and now have three matches in which to prevent an unenviable statistic of going through a season without a win for the second successive year. On the evidence of their last-day capitulation, all out for 160 in the south coast sunshine, it is going to be difficult.

Hampshire's sixth win and with it 24 points was achieved even though only 10 overs were possible on the second day because of rain and bad light. Jimmy Adams declared at his team's overnight score of 497 for 8 with a comprehensive lead of 194. Leicestershire's task was therefore straightforward enough: they had to bat through the last day to avoid defeat and at least make Hampshire bat again.

There had been fears expressed in the Leicestershire camp that the wicket would take turn on the last day but in the event Hampshire spinners Danny Briggs and Liam Dawson were hardly used, the damage having been inflicted earlier on by the pace attack in which Chris Wood also took two wickets.

The outcome was obvious from the 10th ball of the day when Angus Robson, who had batted through 88 overs in the first innings for his maiden century, was sharply caught at third slip by James Vince off Coles. Robson's opening partner, Greg Smith went to a Dawson catch at second slip with the score on 31, again off Coles, and Wood bowled Ned Eckersley with the score 35.

Dan Redfern fended Wood to wicketkeeper Adam Wheater and Leicestershire's plight became hopeless when Niall O'Brien and Rob Taylor departed to successive balls, both to slip catches by Will Smith, when Ervine came on. Taylor had a match to forget, collecting a pair and facing three balls in the first innings and the one in the second.

At 67 for 6, it was just a matter of time but at last there was some Leicestershire defiance, thanks to the bravery of their captain, Josh Cobb, who finished with an unbeaten 50. Cobb shared in stands of 24 for the seventh wicket with Jigar Naik, 27 for the eighth with Charlie Shreck and, to Hampshire's frustration, 42 for the last with Alex Wyatt.

Coles ended Naik's brief flurry with the score on 91 and Ervine came back to have Shreck caught behind, and although Atif Sheikh gave Briggs his only wicket of the innings after failing to score, Wyatt stayed long enough to see Cobb to his half-century.

Cobb faced 107 balls and hit six fours while Wyatt went for his shots, clouting six fours in a career-best 32, beating his previous top score by four runs. But the delay was only temporary and James Tomlinson returned to remove the obstinate Wyatt. Leicestershire were all out in 55.3 overs and Hampshire were celebrating back in the pavilion by 3.25pm.

"Our seamers worked hard for their rewards and their efforts were complemented by our slip catching, which was excellent," victorious captain Adams said. "For a while we held every half-chance and made it a great day for us. The early wickets put Leicestershire under immense pressure and we went from there.

"We had a few draws in mid-season but now we have put together back-to-back wins to put ourselves in the frame. With two matches to go we are in a great position."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • R on September 5, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    @woodgreen 'I,d (sic) question whether we need Adams next year..' Really? He's currently one of the top batsmen in the country (in fact there's a case for England to have Adams, Carberry and Vince as T20 1,2 and 3 I'd say) why would we want to give up on such a good skipper and batsman?

    I'd happily give up one-day success for county championship success any day. We've only won the blessed thing twice (although we should've won it in '74 and '75 for a nice hat-trick)

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    People are right to question how we will get on next year and hopefully we will improve the squad over the winter. However for now lets enjoy what was a good win even if the oppo are pretty hopeless.

    Going to Cardiff too for day 2 and 3 with hopefully a chance of seeing us claim the title

  • Paulo on September 4, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    @Hammond7249 While I am a moaner (perhaps a side-effect of being a student) I think you're being a bit harsh on me. In my comment I did try to formulate the chance of winning the Division.

    Also under Giles White we have had limited overs success. Under Benkenstein the limited overs stuff has been less good. I guess we can't have both.

    @Hjaltibonhoga The humble pie was intended in the first line of my comment.Sorry for not making it clear enough.

    @Jason Hutchinson my concern if we were promoted would be depth in quality. We have some quality players but enough depth in them? Perhaps not, especially if Vince plays for England/the Lions.

  • jim on September 4, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    I,d question whether we need Adams next year.Coaching ive no problem with but our current collection of seamers plus ?Abbott gives me confidence we can take 20 wickets.Sooner see Wood picked regularly,plus Briggs,Taylor,Dawson on the spin front should be good enough. On with the title surge

  • Mari on September 4, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Please, Cod and Chips, keep your negative thoughts to yourself. You have been moaning since the beginning of the season and never stop!

    Jason-Hampshire beat Essex by 470 runs and Kent by 196, so this game does not need to be put into perspective.

    Has anyone noticed that when Giles White took over from Paul Terry Hampshire slid down the table, got relegated and languished in Division 2, but now that Dale Benkenstein has taken over as coach, promotion looks imminent?

    I think winning the Division 2 championship is now a distinct possibility especially since Worcestershire and Surrey play each other next.

  • Paulo on September 4, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    @Hjaltibonhoga Your point? Did you read the first line of my comment on this article? Is that not your "humble pie"? Effectively Hants proved me wrong yesterday.

    @Jason Hutchinson I guess the hope is that if we get promoted we can attract better players. However I agree we lack depth or quality to survive perhaps, let alone be competitive in division 1.

  • Hamish on September 3, 2014, 23:08 GMT

    Three of the most enjoyable days I've spent at a cricket ground this year. Thinking on it on day 4, even the 10 overs on day 2 had their attractions.

    @CodandChips: "I doubt we'll win though, especially without Abbott." I was at the bowl from before the start of play until some time after the dust settled in the car park today, but didn't notice any humble pie being consumed.

  • Dave on September 3, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    Fantastic performance by Hampshire. I feel that Hampshire will now get promoted. I also think that they have a chance to go up as Champions though getting promotion is the important thing!! I am going to travel to see Hampshire play Glamorgan. It will be great to be at the last game of a very good season. Come on Hampshire....

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    This result needs putting in perspective. Leicestershire are a very poor 4 day side, and their morale wasn't helped by news of player exodus.

    I am concerned about quality if Hants are promoted. Andre Adams is a useful addition for next season, but the team lacks cutting edge in the bowling department, particularly without overseas assistance.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    I think it is very possible that Hampshire could win Div 2. On current form you would fancy that we could get 7 points more than Worcs from the last two games.

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