Hampshire take County Championship survival scrap right to the wire

Fidel Edwards finished with match figures of 10 for 145. Picture: Neil Marshall
Fidel Edwards finished with match figures of 10 for 145. Picture: Neil Marshall
George Bailey is bowled for a duck against Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire fall to Essex loss

  • Ageas Bowl outfit close in on victory over Nottinghamshire
  • Success would crank up the pressure on drop rivals Sussex
  • Hampshire will survive if they complete victory and Hove outfit are defeated
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Giles White reflected on a ‘brilliant day’ for Hampshire and then implored his troops to ‘finish the job’.

The Ageas Bowl outfit reignited their hopes of a remarkable escape from the clutches of County Championship division one relegation with a stunning display on day three of their clash with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The visitors require a further 111 runs tomorrow to complete victory in the final game of their campaign.

Then focus will turn to Headingley, where drop rivals Sussex are under pressure against champions Yorkshire.

If Hampshire deliver glory on the river Trent, a Sussex defeat will see them spared of relegation to division two.

Yorkshire closed day three 301 runs ahead of the Hove side with one second-innings wicket remaining.

With a triumph of their own very unlikely, Sussex will therefore spend much of tomorrow attempting to bat out time to avoid the top-flight trap door.

White did not speculate on a potentially nailbiting final day of the season.

Instead, Hampshire’s director of cricket chose to focus on the fine work his men had done in keeping themselves in with a shout of survival right to the very end.

White said: ‘It was a brilliant day really.

‘You look back over the course of it and everyone has contributed.

‘It’s been a brilliant team effort and it’s put us in a strong position, so I’m delighted with the way it went.

‘It’s been an interesting game – nip and tuck all the way through.

‘It’s been a real battle but we’ve shown discipline and courage and it’s worked out that we are in the box seat.

‘But obviously we’ve got to finish the job and get over the line.’

Hampshire resumed their fightback with the bat on day three – before Ryan McLaren (52) was dismissed with the total on 326.

He had shared a fine partnership of 123 for the ninth wicket with Gareth Berg (72), who was dismissed without any further addition.

Hampshire then set about bowling Nottinghamshire out for a second time.

Fidel Edwards led the way again – taking four for 57 to add to his six in the first innings – as the hosts were skittled for 185.

They lost their final seven wickets for 34 after Brendan Taylor had hit a fine 90.

Hampshire then eased to 89 without loss by stumps as Jimmy Adams (37 not out) and Michael Carberry (46 not out) took control.

Neither Headingley or Nottingham is forecast rain tomorrow, so a thrilling finale to the season is in prospect.