White’s men finally down and out

James Vince
James Vince
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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At just before 4.40pm on September 14, 2011 it was finally confirmed that Hampshire would be playing division two cricket next summer.

James Tomlinson attempted to avoid a short-pitched Chris Wright delivery, Rikki Clarke took the catch and Hampshire were confirmed as playing Championship division two cricket next season.

Needing 400 runs in 110 overs was a tough ask to reach the maximum batting points required to stand any chance.

In addition, beating Warwickshire looked distinctly unlikely while Worcestershire also needed to lose their clash with Durham.

Stood watching at the other end, opener Liam Dawson – who remained unbeaten after a superb 152 not out – did his level best to drag Hampshire to their target.

Unfortunately, his vigil was reminiscent of the boy with his finger in the dam as, at the other end, only James Vince (41) made any significant contribution with a quickfire knock.

The rest of the batting line-up came and went – as they have done for much of this season – with only a late flurry from Danny Briggs (25) taking them close to avoiding the follow-on target of 344 in reply to Warwickshire’s 493.

As it was, the title-chasers invited their hosts to bat again with Dawson given a 10-minute sit-down before he was strolling back out to the middle again – the first man to bat through the whole innings since Michael Brown in 2007.

Dawson joined some illustrious company – with ex-Hampshire legends Gordon Greenidge and Barry Richards among those to have achieved the impressive feat in years gone by.

But on the day when relegation was finally confirmed, it’s unfortunate for Dawson – who was out for 17 as Hampshire closed on 43 for three in their second innings – that his fine personal effort was overshadowed.