Liam Dawson (68*) and Nick Gubbins (50*) put on exactly 100 as they batted for 47 overs, deep into day four to halt Somerset and stop their young chargers from pulling off what would have been an incredible victory with their T20 superstars watching on in resting mode.
After James Rew and company’s heroics on days one and two the neutral may argue Somerset deserved this win, but the experience of Hampshire’s much-muddled second innings batting order did enough to take them up to Edgbaston this evening with a draw + five bonus points from this match.
Hampshire starting two down this morning, Organ did just scrape to 100 in the match, but on three edged Ogborne to Lammonby at second gully, 42-3.
Bashir came into the attack the next over from the River End, targeting that rough outside Fletcha Middleton’s off-stump.
Rain stopped play though at 11.24 after a sumptuous Gubbins straight drive that Bess saved an inch inside the rope, 9 overs lost before the noon resumption.
Bashir clipped Middleton’s bails for 29, bringing Vince to the wicket at number six-I cannot remember him ever batting this low for England or Hampshire in any format.
Vince appeared to not realise or maybe forget that Abell had kept Aldridge in at leg slip, the Hants skipper glancing Bashir perfectly their fourth ball, scooped up well by 22-year-old allrounder Aldridge.
Vince falling to a 19-year-old for the second time in this match, great mates Ogborne and Bashir have great stories to tell together of their first, first-class match together when they both got the great James Vince out.
A double wicket maiden for Bashir, who, for the second innings in succession, earnt career best figures. At 58-5 he had 3-4 off nine overs, with plenty more work expected of him today.
Dom Bess was turned to from the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion End come 12.38 with the kookaburra 29 overs old. Brown counter-punched-taking two boundaries off Bess’ second over.
Rain did call lunch five minutes early, but 78-5 still saw Somerset on top.
The overs after lunch from the two ‘B’ spinners saw regular boundaries, Brown sweeping and cover driving particularly well, Gubbins more watchful but strong off the back foot. 29 runs came in the first 15 minutes after lunch as they provided a 57-run partnership.
Just as I was crying out for something different from the bowlers on comms-a slower ball or something, Aldridge struck gold, luckily Rew assisting him with a cracking dive and take down the leg side, Brown (35) tickling one that would have been four otherwise.
Just as we thought Abell may change away from Aldridge, he responded with a double wicket maiden. Fuller caught behind without scoring. Ridiculously having scored 141 last week, Liam Dawson batted number nine today!
Yet Gubbins would not trust his number nine with the strike to Bashir, turning down singles bizarrely-what more shocks could this game give-Hampshire still short of Somerset’s first innings total at this point. This prompted Abell to bring his mate Bess back on from t’other end.We analysed the day 4 pitch with pre & post piece input from Hampshire’s spinners Dawson & Organ (his M&H bat prodding the rough patch behind us).
Now if you did not have the livestream commentary on today or see on twitter you may not have heard about Dawson and Organ’s worry of the rough outside the right-hander’s off stump, this prompting Gubbins to take Bashir from the River End and Dawson to hit only even-numbered-runs off Bess.
Dawson did not get off the mark until his 13th ball, cover driving a half volley for four then hitting a full toss straight down the ground next ball too. Bess gifting a further full toss and legside delivery in his 13th over, perhaps searching too hard for wickets.
Joining us on commentary Craig Overton described Bashir: “He’s got massive hands and he’s tall…even if he gets whacked for six he is confident he can get the batter out. The way he is going now he is going to have a good career.”After tea, the 74th over saw Bashir’s figures ruined slightly, as Hampshire passed 150 with Dawson going 4,6,4 through the leg side. Bashir trying something different every ball, attempting to buy a wicket, the game awaiting the new kookaburra on 80 overs. I was delighted to see Tom Lammonby get a chance to display his left-arm spin in the 75th over, only going for five as well.
A 50 partnership between Dawson and Gubbins passed us by amidst my revelling at Lammonby and Andy Umeed (just his 15th over with the ball in first class cricket)’s one over spells before the new ball eventually was taken by Bashir at 16.34.
Dawson swept to 50, off 115 balls, just past 5pm with 15 overs remaining in the match, Somerset really in the last chance saloon here, but still determined to not yet shake hands.
Past 5.30 the game really was done, Somerset gave it their best but could not force a victory. Gubbins faced 241 balls-a serious effort that deserved all the applause he got.