Adams happy for going to get tough in bid for home fortress

Hampshire celebrate victory at the Ageas Bowl - their first in Championship cricket since 2010. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire celebrate victory at the Ageas Bowl - their first in Championship cricket since 2010. Picture: Neil Marshall
Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp

Bowlers put Hampshire in control of Essex clash

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Jimmy Adams has admitted he is prepared to forego his batsman’s instincts to help Hampshire rebuild their home fortress.

The skipper was a relieved man after seeing his troops complete a 31-run victory over Glamorgan on day four of their County Championship division two at the Ageas Bowl.

More significantly, however, it ended a near two-year winless run on home turf in the four-day competition – dating back to a victory over Kent way back in July 2010.

Considering the club’s home track was something of a minefield for batsmen when it was first built, it has become an excellent playing surface in recent times.

But that means it is easier for batsmen and harder for the bowlers, ensuring a huge number of high-scoring draws in the more recent past.

Adams, however, has been instrumental in groundsman Nigel Gray’s efforts to help restore the balance – even if his own personal fortunes may be affected.

He said: ‘It probably goes against my instincts as an opening batsman but we need wickets where we can force a result by tea on the last day.

‘The wickets here are good, which does make it hard for the bowlers.

‘You have got to do some hard yards.

‘There will not be too many short games.

‘But we have shown we can do it over the four days.

‘I’m just really happy with the four days’ work.

‘The pitch gave the bowlers enough assistance without putting it too much in their favour.

‘If you bowled well, you got rewards and if you batted well, you did too.

‘People want to see wickets and runs and they got that from this game.

‘I think there is a good chance we will see something very similar in the next home game.’

Glamorgan started the final day on 53 for two, needing 210 runs to win.

Australian left-hander Marcus North appeared to be the key to their hopes.

The visitors got off to a bad start, though, with opener Gareth Rees (21) tapped leg before by James Tomlinson (three for 45) early on.

But North steadied the innings, hitting 11 fours on the way to a brilliant knock of 69.

And it looked like he could go on to produce the match-winning innings until he was clean bowled by David Balcombe (two for 46).

It was the second time the seamer had castled the former Test batsman in the game.

Glamorgan were still well in the hunt even after North’s departure and at 212 for six, though.

When they needed just 50 more runs, with four wickets remaining, it still looked on.

But the last four wickets went down for just 19 runs as Kabir Ali (three for 42) and Liam Dawson (two for 49) ripped through the tail, with Ali taking the final scalp.

Adams said: ‘We thought it might be a pretty tight one and so it proved.

‘Fortunately, we managed to get them eight down with quite a few runs to get.

‘It was one of those where we never felt quite on top of it and they probably never quite felt on top of their chase, so it was a bit touch and go all the way.

‘But those last few wickets came pretty quickly.

‘We’ve seen a few tails wag in this game but fortunately theirs didn’t this time.

‘While North was there, it felt like he was the big wicket. There were periods where you were thinking “please, just nick one”.

‘But I thought the boys did a great job under pressure, bowled exceptionally well and we had to show patience. We are all delighted with the win.’