Hampshire 316 and 196 for 1 (Carberry 88*, Lumb 83*) drew with Somerset 436 (Blackwell 129, Trescothick 65, Trego 58, Hildreth 50, Mascarenhas 3-56, Tahir 3-148)
This rain-spoiled match duly ended in a draw, after Somerset failed to bowl Hampshire out cheaply in the second innings, the only way in which a result was possible in the time left. Michael Carberry and Michael Lumb both recorded unbeaten eighties to ensure against defeat, and they at least will have been pleased for the chance to make runs with increasing ease in the afternoon sun.
At the start of the day, Hampshire had nothing to lose but the match - and since they were not inclined towards that option, they could only play for a draw. Somerset, on the other hand, were still in it; 69 runs ahead overnight, on 385 for 7, their first target was to increase their lead and declare.
Volume of runs was clearly thought important, as the overnight batsmen - two renowned big-hitters in Ian Blackwell and Alfonso Thomas - never really tried to cut loose but instead looked to accumulate at a reasonable pace. They took their partnership to 84 before Blackwell slashed at a wide ball from Dimitri Mascarenhas and was caught at the wicket for 129; it took him 214 balls and included a six and 13 fours, an unusually small proportion of boundaries for him.
Soon afterwards, Thomas fatally indulged in a reverse sweep that presented a gift catch the third man, making 43 off as many as 93 balls, with only two fours. We did see a more typical innings from last man Charl Willoughby, however: he hit his first ball airborne into the covers and the team total closed at 436, a lead of 120. The fortunate bowler was again Mascarenhas, whose 3 for 56 on this occasion did flatter him; Imran Tahir toiled long and hard to take 3 for 148 in 45 overs.
The first hour or so of Hampshire's second innings would be vital to the outcome of the match, and both teams knew it. Willoughby and Andy Caddick put all they could into the bowling, forcing Hampshire to dig in, but they lacked the extra inspiration or assistance from the pitch to make the major breakthrough required. The total did not reach double figures until the ninth over, and Hampshire did lose the wicket of Jimmy Adams, who heaved across the line and was bowled by Peter Trego for 10, but that was all.
By mid-afternoon, with Carberry and Lumb gaining in confidence at the crease, it was clear that it was not going to happen for Somerset. Lumb, buoyed by his first-innings century, looked a much more confident batsman, playing himself in for a while before signalling he was going up a gear by driving Peter Trego handsomely through the covers for four.
From now on, it was pleasant batting practice for the two left-handers. Carberry's 50 took him 115 balls, and Lumb's 99. Carberry did give a chance just before tea, when he had 68, off Will Durston, Trescothick at slip failing to hold a chance that was certainly sharp but easier than the two brilliant catches he took on the second day.
After tea the batsmen continued into the eighties, with little trouble and apparently no real desire to complete their centuries, and Hampshire declared immediately after 4.5pm to bring the game to its conclusion. It finished in warm sunshine, the lack of which on the first two days did most to condemn it to a draw.
County Championship Division One
England Domestic Season