White defends Hampshire decision to gamble

Fidel Edwards cuts a dejected figure as his efforts can't prevent Hampshire going down to a five-wicket defeat Picture: Neil Marshall
Fidel Edwards cuts a dejected figure as his efforts can't prevent Hampshire going down to a five-wicket defeat Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Giles White has defended the gamble Hampshire took in order to win their County Championship division one game against Yorkshire, which dramatically backfired on them.

The Ageas Bowl outfit, who remain second from bottom in the league table, decided to forfeit their second innings yesterday after the newly-crowned champions declared at the start of the fourth day on 97 for four.

The intention was to force a result, with a win boosting the relegation-threatened side’s hopes of avoiding the drop after only one season back in the top flight.

The target set for the visitors was 304 – and after 12 overs the decision looked to be paying off with Yorkshire on 37 for three.

However, skipper Andrew Gale’s knock of 125 and Jack Leaning’s 76 saw the visitors reach the total for the loss of only two more wickets, leaving Hampshire to deal with the consequences of a five-wicket defeat.

With Sussex and Somerset – the teams directly above Hants in the table – drawing, it means White’s side now have to depend on results elsewhere when the final round of matches get under way next Tuesday.

But he claimed the decision was a risk worth taking.

‘In hindsight, you look back and wonder if it was the right decision, but I think it was,’ said White.

‘It was something as a group we decided and it was a calculated risk.

‘The position we are in the table, we had to give it a go – and it started so well.

‘At 37 for three it felt like it was going to be our day.

‘Credit to Yorkshire, Leaning and Gale played magnificently well and got them in a position it was difficult to lose from.

‘From a Hampshire perspective, the boys gave everything and we couldn’t ask for any more from them.

‘We’re not dead and buried but we’d like it to be in our hands.’

Fidel Edwards was the pick of the Hampshire bowlers, claiming figures of three for 74.