Hampshire skipper surprised Northamptonshire did not have a go

Hampshire didn't have too much to celebrate. Picture: Kelly Cooper

Hampshire didn't have too much to celebrate. Picture: Kelly Cooper

Nic McMurray

Burridge stepped up to turn form book around

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Jimmy Adams admitted he was surprised Northamptonshire opted to make no attempt to win their Championship division two clash.

With the first day lost to the weather, the draw always looked the most likely result and would probably have happened anyway.

But after last week’s debacle – when Lancashire batted on and on in a tedious draw – the same thing happened all over again at Wantage Road.

Northants didn’t bother declaring and just played out a mind-numbing draw until the captain’s shook hands.

Championship cricket struggles to get spectators through the turnstiles at the best of times.

But who would want to watch a game that lacks any kind of competitive edge?

Of course, the weather played a significant part.

But surely it was worth a try?

Adams, however, understood why Northants saved themselves.

The Hampshire skipper said: ‘It’s a shame we lost a lot of time to the weather and we were expecting to have to bat out a tricky half day or something like that.

‘As it was, it didn’t happen.

‘Northamptonshire had to travel straight after the game so sometimes the weather and the fixture list goes against games getting set up, which is a shame really.

‘From our side, it didn’t really change I suppose as the draw was always going to be the best result we could get.

‘We were probably a bit surprised that they didn’t have a little crack at us but it’s understandable given what they have got over the next few days.’

In their defence, as leaders of the division, Northants were probably quite happy to maintain their advantage at the top.

After all, it’s been an encouraging start to the campaign for them.

But it smacks of negativity that they were content to take a draw, rather than go for an unlikely win.

Hampshire, whose first innings of 206 all out meant they were not the ones calling the shots, might have acted differently had the roles been reversed.

But the fact the home side reached 425 for nine, with Andrew Hall (130 not out), David Murphy (81) and Trent Copeland (63) all helping themselves, would suggest Hampshire would have had difficulty saving the game if it had gone the distance.

Adams said: ‘When we weren’t able to bowl them out, the less time we had to bat, the better.

‘I’m sure it’s frustrating for the supporters and for the neutral.

‘But that is sometimes what happens when the weather plays such a big part.

‘I’m sure there would have been a result with another day’s cricket.

‘There was enough in the wicket and it would have started to turn.

‘Hopefully, the sun will shine over the next few weeks and we can get some four-day cricket in.’

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