Tahir left baffled by ECB decision as match heads for draw

Imran Tahir celebrates. Picture: Neil Marshall
Imran Tahir celebrates. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Imran Tahir has predicted a bore draw as he revealed he still cannot understand the ECB pitch panel’s decision to punish Hampshire.

The Pakistan-born South African international was involved in last week’s thrilling contest with Nottinghamshire.

But a pitch that offered plenty of turn then saw Hampshire docked eight points – despite a cracking draw that came down to the last over of the match.

Unsurprisingly, groundsman Nigel Gray has prepared a batting track for this fixture.

And Yorkshire helped themselves to 532 all out in the first innings leaving the contest heading towards a draw at the halfway stage with Hampshire closing day two on 116 for two.

And Tahir – who battled away for six wickets – cannot understand the logic behind the game’s administrators apparently favo-uring a tedious glut of runs over a genuine battle between bat and ball.

Tahir said: ‘It is frustrating.

‘That Notts game was one of the best I have played in my life.

‘I was shocked when I heard that we were deducted eight points.

‘I am never going to understand that, for all the days that I play cricket.

‘I played in India in the World Cup and, from day one, it was turning more there than it was here in the last game so I don’t agree with that.

‘It’s not just the players. If you look at the crowd reaction, they know what is happening so you don’t do anything right by anyone.

‘For people who love the game and play the game, there is nothing.’

Tahir admitted that the pitch used in this game offers little help to the bowlers.

But he has urged Hampshire’s batsmen to make the most of the conditions to set up a remote possibility of a result that the team desperately needs.

Tahir said: ‘It’s very hard. You never know – there could be a result but it’s hard to see that happening.

‘It’s a very hard wicket to bowl on but it was a good challenge.

‘Whatever the total is, we just need to bat well.

‘It looks like we’re doing well but hopefully we can continue that. It will be tough to see a result in this game but you never know.

‘If we can bat like they did and then bowl really well in the second innings, it might happen.’

Meanwhile, Hampshire manager Giles White has downplayed Dominic Cork’s calf injury and is confident that the skipper will be fit for Sunday’s Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Durham.

The former England star limped off midway through yesterday’s play.

White said: ‘We suspect he will be fit.

‘He was feeling his calf a little bit but it’s not a serious one.

‘Dom will be raring to go and it will take a lot for him not to be out there.’