Northamptonshire 56 (Barker 4-13) and 50 for 2 (Whiteman 25*, Turner 1-10, Barker 1-20) f/o trail Hampshire 367 (Vince 95, Dawson 63, White 4-80) by 261 runs
Northamptonshire’s batting woes continued as they were bowled out for 56 – the lowest total in the Ageas Bowl’s 22-year history during their LV= County Championship match against Hampshire.
Only Saif Zaib managed to reach double figures – scoring 29 – with four of his team-mates falling for ducks as they scored one run fewer than Hampshire’s 57 against Kent on the ground last season.
It meant they gave up a 311-run first-innings deficit, after Hampshire had earlier been bowled out for 367, with a further two wickets falling before the close – the score 50 for 2 and Hampshire’s lead 261.
Northamptonshire exceeded many expectations with their sixth-placed finish in the Championship last season – with Luke Procter, Emilio Gay, and Rob Keogh all scoring in excess of 800 runs. So far this year, there has been just a solitary batting point in five matches and totals of 72, 63, and now 56. They are also the only side not to have a batter make 300 runs yet this season – although that is somewhat mitigated by Gay and Procter’s missed games through injury.
Unsurprisingly that modest batting record has only translated to a single victory. Their attempts to improve that started horrendously as Hassan Azad was barbequed by Gay and run out without facing a ball in the first over – Mason Crane’s brilliant direct hit at point splattering the stumps.
No words were spoken as Azad trudged off, while Gay would frenetically go on to get dropped at second slip before taking on an Abbas bouncer, only to stick it straight down deep square leg Fletcha Middleton’s throat. Sam Whiteman would also fall lbw to Barker as Northamptonshire reached lunch on 18 for 3.
That 11-over stint saw the very best of left-armer Barker. His six overs returned 1 for 4 and included only one scoring shot – off the penultimate ball of the session.
Barker returned from lunch hungry for wickets and had Ricardo Vasconcelos lbw when walking across his stumps. The former Warwickshire man then produced a double-wicket maiden – his seventh maiden in 12 overs – where he found Keogh pushing to third slip and James Sales beaten for pace.
Tom Taylor was caught low at fourth slip off Abbas and Jordan Buckingham edged Holland to second slip to continue the collapse.
Zaib had replicated the steady Hampshire batting approach from the first day, where the pitch had seemed slow and patience was needed to pick the moments to score. With partners running out he advanced and slapped to cover.
Hampshire’s bowling attack is without Kyle Abbott and James Fuller for this match – due to knee trouble and illness – it meant Championship debutant John Turner and leg-spinner Crane were promoted into the team. Turner bowled with decent pace in his first 3.2 overs before he ended the sorry Northamptonshire innings by knocking back Jack White’s off stump.
It was Northamptonshire’s second-lowest total of the 21st century and lowest ever away to Hampshire.
Rain knocked 27 off the day, but the belated start to the second innings saw Gay once again put down at second slip and Azam complete a same-day pair – although this time at least faced seven balls before Barker pinned him lbw.
Gay and Whiteman showed some solidity before Turner entered the attack and had the former lbw to complete a miserable day for the visitors.
White, who ended up with figures of 4 for 80, had Holland lbw and Turner caught brilliantly at second slip by Gay in successive balls. The innings was rounded up when Abbas edged Taylor to first slip.