Hampshire skipper salutes draw but calls for more

Will Smith  Picture: Neil Marshall
Will Smith Picture: Neil Marshall
Alex Shephard, right. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Jimmy Adams paid tribute to his Hampshire team-mates after they battled to a dogged draw with Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.

But frustrated captain Adams also admitted the hosts let themselves down earlier in the four-day match by relinquishing any chance of recording a much-needed maiden win in County Championship division one.

Instead, it was left to patient duo Will Smith and Adam Wheater to save the game with half-centuries apiece as their heroic rearguard action, supported by tailender Gareth Berg, meant Adams and counterpart Daryl Mitchell shook hands on a draw with nine scheduled overs to play.

Adams said: ‘In terms of the last day, we did what we needed to do but it has been a tough few days.

‘Worcestershire have outplayed us from the start – they were excellent with the ball in both innings and showed us what we needed to do on our own patch.

‘We didn’t bowl how we would have like and didn’t bat how we would have liked either.

‘Worcestershire pushed for a result and the weather has helped us.

‘It was good character from Wheats, Will and Bergy. Those three got us through some sticky patches.

‘It was a good final day but a disappointing game overall – we were hoping to perform much better than that.

‘Yesterday apart we have not been where we should be and we need to rectify that. You can have bad days but it is the manner of the performance that has let us down.’

Hampshire, who welcome Middlesex to the Ageas Bowl for a NatWest T20 Blast clash tonight (6.30pm), started their day of blocking in the worst possible way when they lost opener Liam Dawson (seven) and Michael Carberry (six) in quick succession.

James Vince (12) used up 50 deliveries but departed five minutes before lunch with Adams (47) falling to the final ball of the morning session.

Wheater (52) scored a second first-class fifty of the season but his wicket just before tea kept Worcestershire well on top at the Ageas Bowl.

Sean Ervine (eight) then tamely chipped up for a simple catch at short extra cover.

But determined Smith remained a thorn in Worcestershire’s side as he batted the whole afternoon and evening sessions for an unbeaten 31.

The sparsely-populated temporary stands then came to life when Berg (32 not out) pushed Hampshire into a second innings lead, to mean Worcestershire would have to bat again to win.

Stubborn Smith – who was given a county cap on the opening morning – ended on an unbeaten 64, continuing in his trademark style of watchfully waiting for the bad delivery to move to his 29th first-class fifty from 133 balls – before both sides agreed to a draw.

Hampshire are now the only county not to have won a Championship match in either division and are glued to the foot of division one – Worcestershire remain third from bottom.