Dale Bekenstein pays tribute to Hampshire battlers

Michael Carberry top-scored for Hampshire on day four at Nottinghamshire with an unbeaten 84 not out Picture: Neil Marshall

Michael Carberry top-scored for Hampshire on day four at Nottinghamshire with an unbeaten 84 not out Picture: Neil Marshall

Liam Dawson in action. Picture: Neil Marshall

White: Superb bowling has given us a chance

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Dale Benkenstein paid tribute to his Hampshire battlers as they completed their miraculous relegation escape from Championship division one.

The Ageas Bowl outfit sealed an eight-wicket win at Nottinghamshire and then saw Yorkshire do them a huge favour by beating Sussex.

The results means Hampshire stay up in the top flight, while their south coast neighbours drop into division two.

Plenty wrote off Hampshire’s chances, but Benkenstein always retained hope that his team could climb out of trouble.

‘We’re obviously very happy,’ said the coach.

‘It’s an incredible effort from everyone involved.

‘A lot of people wrote us off but I knew that once we started playing properly, we had a chance.

‘When we had the right balance of the side, it made a big difference.

‘We’ve had a much better team in the last couple of months. We found that bit of confidence and it all went from there.’

Hampshire turned in a fine display in the field on day three and then delivered with the bat to reach their victory target of 200 with just two wickets down today.

The players and staff then had to wait on the Yorkshire result.

Benkenstein said: ‘We knew we had a chance but a lot of things had to work in our favour to give us a chance.

‘We were keeping a very close eye on the Yorkshire game. We were on the bus but we were cheering every wicket as they went down.’

– STEVE WILSON

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