Adams close to plotting unlikely Hampshire win

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
Andrew Gorvin bowling for Havant.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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skipper Jimmy Adams admits his negotiation skills still need some work – despite almost plotting a remarkable County Championship victory for Hampshire over Kent.

After managing just 78 overs of play over the first three days of the match, the division two clash was heading for a tame draw, with only batting and bowling points to play for.

However, Adams and opposite number Rob Key had other ideas as they looked to manufacture a winning result for one of the promotion chasers.

And after intense negotiations on the field prior to play on the final day, an agreement was reached.

Hampshire would extend their first innings score by 70 before declaring and both sides would forfeit an innings, leaving Kent to chase around 300 off 70 overs.

As it was, their efforts were in vain as the hosts gave up the chase on 220 for six and shook hands on a draw.

But with an hour of the clash remaining all three results were still possible – and both captains were applauded for their positive approach.

‘Negotiating is not necessarily my strongest suit,’ said Adams.

‘I don’t particularly enjoy those things.

‘But I think we both had a reasonable idea of what was fair and fortunately our suggestions were fairly similar.

‘There’s been a few games this year where the teams have been a bit far out.

‘That’s fair enough, but both of us had a reasonable idea of what was on.

‘It was always going to be tough scoring at decent rate, but then again it was going to be tough taking wickets, so it would have taken something special from either side to get a win.

‘Unfortunately it wasn’t to be but a draw and an entertaining day’s cricket is better than a draw and a bonus point battle.’

Adams admitted that day four was a real rollercoaster of emotions as Kent closed in on their target only to be repeatedly stalled by a timely Hants wicket.

He added: ‘Going into the last hour both sides were still in it and that was probably all we were hoping for at the start of the day.

‘It proved a very hard track to get wickets on throughout if teams were happy just to bat patiently.

‘They had two good batters in at the end and we weren’t able to sneak one of them out.

‘If we had got one of them out straight away I think it could have made for an interesting last 10 overs, but as it was we didn’t quite have enough.

‘If one of their top order guys had kept going for another 10 overs then we would have been really up against it.

‘It was getting a little bit tough at one stage but we got wickets at the right times, and with one or two more at the right times it could have been a very different end.’