Liam Dawson stretchered off as Hampshire take first innings lead against Middlesex in Bob Willis Trophy tie

All-rounder Liam Dawson was stretchered off with what looked a serious ankle injury to mar a productive day for Hampshire in their Bob Willis Trophy match against Middlesex at Radlett.

By Ben Kosky
Sunday, 9th August 2020, 6:38 pm
Hampshire's Liam Dawson lies in pain after picking up an injury during day two of The Bob Willis Trophy match at Radlett. Pic: John Walton
Hampshire's Liam Dawson lies in pain after picking up an injury during day two of The Bob Willis Trophy match at Radlett. Pic: John Walton

The 30-year-old, who was part of England’s white-ball squad for their recent ODI series against Ireland, fell awkwardly while batting during the final session and had to be carried from the field.

Dawson’s attacking knock of 43 had already helped Hampshire to take a first-innings lead when he crumpled to the ground, visibly in pain after playing a defensive shot against Tom Helm.

There was a 15-minute delay while Dawson received treatment, but it was already evident he would be unable to continue.

Hampshire's Ian Holland is caught behind by Sam Robson during day two of The Bob Willis Trophy match at Radlett. Pic: John Walton.

Despite that setback, the visitors ended the second day in a strong position, with opener Joe Weatherley falling just two short of what would have been his second first-class century and captain Sam Northeast hitting 51 as they dominated the Middlesex bowling.

Hampshire had appeared set for an uphill battle when they lost Tom Alsop (4) in the third over of the day, the left-hander edging a rising delivery from Helm as John Simpson leapt to take the catch.

That left the visitors in an unsteady position at 28-3 – and it could have been worse as both Weatherley and Northeast survived chances to second slip before their partnership had really been established.

Northeast’s, a fast thick edge when he had 14 to his name, would have represented a magnificent catch by Nathan Sowter – but the opportunity for the same fielder to remove Weatherley off the bowling of James Harris was altogether more routine.

Hampshire's Joe Weatherley on his way to 98 during the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy tie against Middlesex at Radlett.

The pair made Middlesex pay as they accumulated a fourth-wicket partnership of 139, with Weatherley stroking a midwicket boundary off Tim Murtagh (2-49) to raise his half-century off 157 balls.

The skipper, meanwhile, also reached his 50 in style, slamming Helm for four through the covers – but he departed in the next over after left-arm spinner Thilan Wallalawita returned for his second spell of the day.

Wallalawita’s second delivery tempted Northeast to cut, but the ball sailed towards gully, where Sowter – now relocated from second slip – gathered the catch safely.

Weatherley, who went to tea on 90, had rarely looked in anything resembling a hurry during the first two sessions. But he resumed in attacking mode, driving Murtagh’s first two balls of the evening for boundaries to advance to 98.

However, the 23-year-old would get no further as he was adjudged leg before in Murtagh’s next over, attempting to flick a straight ball off his pads.

That leaves his 126 not out against Lancashire at Old Trafford in June 2018 as his only century from 56 first class innings.

But Middlesex were unable to capitalise on the breakthrough as Dawson maintained the tempo, hooking Harris for successive fours and putting on 51 for the sixth wicket with Ian Holland.

Holland, who had taken 20 deliveries to get off the mark, eventually contributed a breezy 22 to steer his side past the hosts’ first-innings total before Harris had him caught in the slips.

That, along with Dawson’s injury, slowed Hampshire’s momentum and they also lost Harry Came (5), lbw to Sowter in the penultimate over, as they reached stumps 27 runs ahead of their hosts.