Hampshire v New Zealanders, New Zealand in England, 1999
The Electronic Telegraph - 09-12 July 1999
New Zealanders 274-7 v Hampshire
New Zealand, having chosen to bat on a placid pitch, might have expected one or two of their out-of-form batsmen to cash in, but instead it was their captain, Dion Nash, coming in at No 7, who had to rescue them with a combative century.
Hampshire, presently second in the championship, face leaders Surrey at Guildford on Wednesday and in view of this rested first-choice quick bowlers Nixon McLean and Peter Hartley and were also without Alex Morris, still recovering from sore shins.
It was, therefore, very much a second string who faced New Zealand, whose early batsmen, looking nervous and hesitant, failed one after the other, the scoreboard reading 56 for five when Nash came to the wicket in the 24th over.
Matt Horne was the first to go, his tentative forward prod resulting in a catch behind. Roger Twose played some good strokes, among them a vivid pull for four off Simon Renshaw, before edging a loose drive into his stumps.
Nathan Astle succumbed to a catch at short leg, Craig McMillan crashed a short ball to cover and Matthew Bell, having played pretty solidly, nicked one from Steve Lugsden who bowled well early on, though his control deserted him later.
Nash, using a strong bottom hand, cut freely and drove straight and wide of mid-on, and with Chris Harris in more passive vein, put the bowling and the pitch into perspective with a partnership of 114 in 43 overs.
Harris, missed on 16 and 24, eventually succumbed to Shaun Udal's flight but Nash, becalmed for 10 overs on 88, found another excellent partner in the left-handed Daniel Vettori who struck 11 fours in reaching a brisk fifty from 78 balls.
Vettori was immediately run out after a brilliant stop by Udal, but Nash went on to reach the third hundred of his career after 4.5 hours batting, having hit a six over the pavilion off Udal and 16 fours.
Day 2: Nash the entertainer limbers up for the Lord's show
Hampshire 214 for 4 (71.2 overs) v New Zealand
In the wake of England's disappointing showing in the World Cup it was felt by some that the prospects of New Zealand as the summer's tourists would not set pulses racing or draw huge interest. The small Southampton crowd was testament to the limited pulling power of this competent but somewhat prosaically talented team.
The accepted wisdom is that the tourists are short of star performers. Dion Nash, however, looks to be setting about reshaping that notion with an all-round performance of verve and rigour. The former Middlesex man must surely be looking forward to the Lord's Test, the scene of his greatest triumph where he picked up 11 wickets and scored a half-century in the 1994 Test.
Few would begrudge him some further success there for his career path has not been the smoothest. He has been blighted by back troubles which have caused him to consider retirement on several occasions, and which certainly had an adverse effect on his form during his only moderately successful two-year spell with Middlesex. There was also the unpleasant furore over recreational drug use on the 1994/95 South Africa tour.
Nash is clearly made of stern stuff as evidenced by the impressive leadership he provides in the absence of Stephen Fleming which has won him high praise back home. Hampshire had ample opportunity to see this at first hand in a day dominated by the acting captain. He finished the first innings undefeated on 135, a highly impressive century which took 273 balls and 366 minutes and included two sixes and 19 fours.
Nash, 106 overnight, and Simon Doull had set about the Hampshire bowling in the morning. The lower-order men delivered huge blows, notably in Simon Renshaw's eighth over which went for 24 including a towering six from Nash.
The assault was rather harsh on Renshaw who had been bowling tightly, taking the wicket of Martyn Croy caught behind. Doull carried on the entertainment, hitting Shaun Udal over the pavilion for two sixes. He was caught at deep midwicket by Derek Kenway when 49 at which point New Zealand declared on 370 for nine, the last 11 balls having gone for 38 runs.
Hampshire soon lost Jason Laney bottom edging a pull to keeper Croy off Doull. The first delivery after lunch, from Nash, was a loosener, short and wide. Will Kendall should have known better than to flash at it and offer a routine chance to Croy. Nash soon claimed Kenway, again caught at the wicket, and Matthew Keech first ball, sharply taken by Nathan Astle at second slip. Nash seemed an irresistible force, the three wickets coming in 14 balls for eight runs.
However, Giles White and John Stephenson, 49 and 32 not out respectively, showed the temperament their colleagues had lacked as they steered Hampshire to 149 for four at tea.
Day 3: Nash rallies New Zealand
New Zealand (370-9 dec & 247-9) lead Hampshire (297) by 320 runs
Acting captain Dion Nash followed his career-best 135 in New Zealand's first innings with a career-best seven for 39 then made a half-century when New Zealand batted again.
However, this remarkable performance did not completely paper over all New Zealand's cracks. Despite the cushion of a 73-run lead, their main batsmen again failed to take advantage of easy batting conditions and a modest Hampshire attack.
Indeed, when Nash went in shortly before tea yesterday the tourists were 114 for five. Only Nathan Astle of their front-line batsmen had shown much form.
With only the four-day Vodafone Trophy match at Canterbury to come before the Lord's Test they do not have much time to get themselves in the frame of mind to play long innings against demanding bowling.
When play began yesterday Hampshire were 238 for five, still 132 runs adrift, but with Giles White still there on 108.
White, dropped through lack of form after six championship matches, had survived a nervy start on Sunday to bat correctly and attractively. He had already hit 17 fours and soon took further boundaries off Simon O'Connor and Simon Doull.
Meanwhile, Shaun Udal was lbw shouldering arms to O'Connor's medium-fast left arm and when Nash replaced Doull at the city end his first ball, dug in short, had Kevan James caught at long leg off the top edge.
In his next over Nash banged another one in at White whose five-hour innings ended with a spliced hook lobbing gently to midwicket. Next ball an unwise spar from Mark Garaway gave a catch at the wicket.
Simon Lugsden survived the hat-trick ball and he hung about for a while with Simon Renshaw. Outside eges were passed regularly by Nash who ended the innings with a quick yorker which knocked out Lugsden's leg stump.
When New Zealand batted again the delaying tactics Renshaw and Lugsden had employed with the bat extended to their use of the new ball, a high proportion of deliveries being so wide as to discourage any stroke.
Matthew Bell was first to go, bowled cutting at a straight ball. Then Matt Horne swatted at another wide one from Lugsden and unerringly found deep third man. Enter Roger Twose who was soon pulling and cutting with great power.
He, too, flattered to deceive, edging one angled across him to slip. Astle timed the ball from the start but Craig McMillan never looked happy and went to a thin edge. Immediately Chris Harris was bowled pushing forward.
Day 4: Hampshire hold on in last over
Hampshire (297 & 227-9) drew with New Zealand (370-9 dec & 247-9 dec)
Daniel Vettori took five for 92 as Hampshire escaped with a draw after being set 321 to win in what turned out to be 102 overs.
Matthew Keech and reserve wicketkeeper Mark Garaway made fifties, but in a dramatic finish, New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull yorked Garaway with the third ball of the last over but damaged a knee and limped off. Craig McMillan completed the over but could not take the final wicket.
Hampshire's approach was difficult to fathom. Needing barely three runs an over on an easy-paced pitch, they adopted an attitude of deep suspicion. Admittedly, they did not have the best start, losing Jason Laney in the fifth over, caught at slip off Doull.
For a while it looked as if Hampshire might win the prize money of L1,000 per man put up by sponsors Vodaphone, as Derek Kenway and Will Kendall maintained the required scoring rate.
However, Kendall was deceived by Vettori's flight and caught at slip and immediately after lunch Kenway responded slowly to Giles White's call for a sharp single and was run out.
That put Hampshire at 72 for three and then only 74 runs were added between lunch and tea in 36 overs.
White, 33 overs for 25, was caught off bat and pad just before tea and Keech, needing 136 balls to reach his fifty, was similarly dismissed off Vettori in the third over of the final session.
By this time the initiative was with the New Zealanders. Shaun Udal charged Vettori and missed, Kevan James hit one back to the slow left-armer, who then had Simon Renshaw caught close in.
With 17 overs remaining and only two wickets left, a New Zealand victory seemed likely but Garaway hit 10 fours off 126 balls and carried his side to the verge of safety. Astle had batted pretty circumspectly for 93 balls when he perished aiming across John Stephenson. New Zealand looked vulnerable but Daniel Vettori again proved himself a doughty partner for Nash and their intelligent batting rapidly regained the initiative. The pair
Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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