James Tomlinson pulled no punches as Hampshire let Northamptonshire off the hook in their Championship showdown as he admitted: We didn’t do our job.
The experienced Hampshire bowler saw the club’s promotion hopes suffer a serious blow.
They gave up their early initiative and allowed the visitors 100 runs too many in their first innings total of 356.
Tomlinson ended with figures of three for 66 but with Northamptonshire reduced to 98 for five on day one, the Hampshire bowlers were unable to finish the job.
The battle will be on to fight back on day three, resuming on 125 for two in their first innings.
The left-arm seamer said: ‘It’s nowhere near the position we wanted to be in.
‘The last five wickets put on 258 – that’s a real shame and we’re bitterly disappointed about it.
‘Quite simply, I don’t think we got the ball in the right place enough. They got a few too many at the end.
‘I think everyone would hold their hand up and admit that at certain times, our bowlers didn’t quite do the job.
‘I probably could have bowled a lot better at the start of the innings.
‘When you put a team in on a green one, you’ve got to look to get more wickets than for them to get to 50 for one after 10 overs.
‘I think every bowler in the team and the fielders as well have got to hold their hands up and say “we didn’t create enough chances or enough atmosphere to make it difficult for the Northamptonshire batsmen”.
‘I can definitely say it was not through a lack of effort, but it was most definitely a lack of execution.’
With Northamptonshire picking up at 170 for five overnight, a score below 250 should have been on the cards.
David Balcombe (three for 58) struck to remove Rob Newton (48).
But James Middlebrook (65) David Willey (54) and David Murphy (43) ensured that far too many runs were conceded to the lower order.
It’s certainly not the first time it’s happened this season and instead of being on the front foot in chasing victory, Hampshire now face some serious work.
Much will depend on skipper Jimmy Adams (48 not out).
Tomlinson said: ‘The opposition should not be getting more than 250 when you put a team in.
‘We are not nipping teams in the bud and we are probably lacking a bit of confidence out there.
That’s what I noticed from our performance. The body language wasn’t quite there and I think that’s an element.
‘We’re still in the game because anything can happen in a four-day game.
‘But we know that ultimately we have got to bat well and for a long period of time.’