September 13, 2000

Enthralling opening day in last First-class match at Southampton.

With 16 wickets falling on the first day, the ECB pitch inspector may be required to visit on this the last ever First-class match at the County Ground in Southampton.

The pitch inspectors however would have missed an enthralling opening day, as the match swung on a pendulum.

This was Hampshire's 565th and last FC match at the County Ground against a Yorkshire side who in all their 20 previous visits to the ground had not lost, winning 10 and drawing 10.

Yorkshire won the toss, and in a frenetic morning had scored 145 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Shane Warne and Dimitri Mascarenhas being the main antagonists. Peter Hartley playing his last match against his old county recorded his 100th wicket for Hampshire. Fellows and Middlebrook saw the visitors past the 200 mark, and their first bonus point, Hampshire securing maximum bowling points, a feat they have achieved in every match played this season, and only emulated by Yorkshire.

Yorkshire in turn made inroads well into the Hampshire side, and it took a robust partnership between Will Kendall and Shane Warne to recover from an amazing spell by James Middlebrook. The off-spinner took 4 wickets in five balls, twice missing the hat trick, to rip the heart out of the middle order, as Smith, Prittipaul, Aymes and Mascarenhas saw Hampshire at a perilous 78 for 6. Kendall, the home sides leading run scorer this season was joined by Warne. He survived the hat trick ball, then smote two sixes and six fours in his 43 ball innings, and shared an unbroken stand of 73.