Holland bags career best figures but rain thwarts Hampshire in Bob Willis Trophy tie against Surrey at Arundel

Ian Holland secured his maiden first-class five-wicket haul but Hampshire's dominance was thwarted by the rain at Arundel in the Bob Willis Trophy.

By Alex Smith
Sunday, 16th August 2020, 4:33 pm
Ian Holland celebrates after dismissing Gus Atkinson of Surrey to claim his sixth wicket during the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Hampshire and Surrey at Arunde. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.
Ian Holland celebrates after dismissing Gus Atkinson of Surrey to claim his sixth wicket during the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Hampshire and Surrey at Arunde. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

All-rounder Holland, who had taken four wickets on the first day, added Laurie Evans and Gus Atkinson to his total to take his analysis to six for 39.

Prior to this game, in 29 first class matches Holland’s best figures for Hampshire were 4-16 against Somerset in June 2017. Since then, he had only ever taken three wickets in an innings twice - the last time against Lancashire in September 2018.

He had been handed the new ball on Saturday for the first time in his Hampshire career, with the county minus Kyle Abbott, Fidel Edwards, Keith Barker, Ryan Stevenson and Ajeeet Dale through unavailability or injury.

Ian Holland celebrates with Tom Alsop and Lewis McManus after dismissing Laurie Evans. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

Sussex loanee Evans had scored his first half-century for Surrey since 2010 but his side remained in trouble on 130 for eight as rain only allowed 16 overs on day two.

Holland has had a unique cricketing career.

The 29-year-old was born in Wisconsin, USA, brought up in Australia, played age-group cricket for Victoria, was released then earned a contract by the same state thanks to winning reality TV show Cricket Superstar - where he was judged by Aussie legend Allan Border.

He played once for the Victoria state side in the Sheffield Shield, against Tasmania in 206, before being picked up by Hampshire the following year.

Laurie Evans of Surrey makes his way back to the pavilion after being trapped lbw for 65 by Ian Holland. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

Even though he didn’t feature in one-day cricket for Hampshire in 2019 - he was loaned out to Northants for the Royal London Cup campaign - he earned an international bow for the USA last November.

Holland went on to play 14 one-day games for the States, his last appearance coming against Nepal in February when he opened the batting and was out for a duck as his side were embarrassingly all out for just 35.

Holland was forced to wait to make the morning breakthrough on the second day as Evans and Jamie Smith continued their partnership, with conditions slightly less conducive for similar movement to Saturday.

Evans is back at Surrey on a short-term loan, due to large scale unavailability, having spent five years as a professional at the Oval between 2005 and 2010.

Tom Scriven of Hampshire (second left) celebrates with team mates after dismissing Jamie Smith - his maiden first class wicket. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

The 32-year-old had returned with a solid 41 against Essex last week but went one better to post his first first-class half-century for the county for a decade.

After 11 overs, Holland did make a breakthrough when Evans, who needed 64 balls for his adventurous fifty, was lbw for 65.

Evans had added 84 with Smith, and was quickly followed back to the pavilion.

Tom Scriven, on his first-class debut, found lovely movement away from Smith to take the outside edge through to Lewis McManus – Scriven’s maiden professional wicket.

The 21-year-old had played once previously for the county, in a T20 game in 2018 when he was only given one over against Gloucestershire.

Atkinson was Holland’s sixth victim when he was leg before – with the covers coming on four balls later, with lunch taken 45 minutes early.

But that rain continued, and got heavier, throughout the early afternoon to force umpires Ben Debenham and Billy Taylor to abandon play at 2.20pm.

It was Holland’’s first ‘six for’ since his 6-26 against Kent in a 2nd XI match in 2015 - two years before he made his first class debut for the county.

Two days before that Kent game, he had bagged 8-32 playing for Fleetwood in a Northern Premier League game against Darwen.

Holland was a regular wicket-taker for the Lancashire club. In his first season, 2013, he finished as the league’s leading wicket-taker with 63, including 10 hauls of four or more wickets.

In 2015 he was fourth highest with 61 wickets in 17 matches, including eight hauls of five wickets or more.

But until the weekend, he had never achieved the feat in the first class game.

After the first day’s play - when he had dismissed three England internationals - he said: ‘It was nice the wickets fell my way.

‘Taking the new ball was a good opportunity to make the most of the conditions.’

Holland trapped Mark Stoneman leg before, had Scott Borthwick caught by keeper Lewis McManus, before also having World Cup winner Jason Roy leg before.

“The Borthwick wicket was a beauty. I was happy with that one!’ Holland said. ‘For the Roy one I meant to swing it away but it came in.

“I think we were going to bat but I was slightly happy that we lost (the toss) with the overhead conditions.

“I hadn’t taken the new ball before for Hampshire so it was a nice opportunity to step up knowing that we had a lot of senior bowlers not playing.

“I am quite enjoying the opportunity, but at the same time I know it isn’t going to be the same when Abbo (Kyle Abbott) is back next season.’