Recent Match Report – Hampshire vs Middlesex Group 2 2021

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Middlesex 79 and 208 for 4 (White 73*, Gubbins 67, Abbas 2-14) need another 323 runs to beat Hampshire 319 and 299 for 4 declared (Holland 146*, Northeast 118)

This weekend’s cricket lay spread out for Hampshire, as inviting as the Saturday papers on the kitchen table with time aplenty to leaf through the supplements. Mohammad Abbas had cast a bewitching spell on Middlesex’s first innings, and having chosen to bat again rather than enforce the follow-on, they returned to the Ageas Bowl on this third morning with eight wickets standing, two batsmen in the 90s, and a lead approaching 450.

James Vince, the home captain, was at liberty to do pretty much as he pleased, with the luxury of time and scoreboard pressure bearing down on the opposition. None but the greediest of Hampshire fans would have expected another Middlesex implosion, and sure enough this time around the visitors brought a stiffened resolve to their batting. Three quick wickets in the afternoon session raised Hampshire tails before Nick Gubbins and Robbie White lashed together a century stand from the flotsam and jetsam bobbing around them.

Set a notional target of 531 to win or, more realistically (though still on the improbable side), five-and-a-bit sessions to survive, Middlesex finished the day on a doughty 208 for 4, White still ensconced after almost three-and-a-half hours at the crease. The draw remained on the table, tucked away somewhere between the business and travel sections, though Hampshire will feel they have the tools to take six more wickets and start the season with back-to-back wins.