Hampshire enjoy best start to a County Championship season since 2004 with huge victory over Middlesex

Hampshire wrapped up their second emphatic LV= Insurance County Championship victory of the season before lunch today Middlesex lost their last six wickets for 82 runs.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 5:12 pm
Ian Holland impressed with the ball today as Hampshire completed their second successive County Championship victory, this time against Middlesex at The Ageas Bowl. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Resuming the day on 208-4, the visitors lost overnight batsmen Robbie White and Martin Andersson within the first half-hour to Ian Holland, ending any faint hopes of trying to save the match.

Holland, who also scored a career best 146 not out and 64 in the game, trapped White lbw for 71 in the second over of the morning, writes IAN McCULLOUGH.

He then found the edge of Andersson's bat on his way to figures of 3-19.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hampshire skipper James Vince took the new ball after 11 overs and pace spearheads Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas struck immediately with Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson and Nathan Sowter all departing in quick succession as five wickets fell for 37 runs in just under an hour.

Spinner Liam Dawson then wrapped up the match by ending Ethan Bamber's stubborn resistance for 24.

That left Hampshire winners by 249 runs - the county’s 22nd highest margin of runs success in Championship history. It is also their highest ever runs victory over Middlesex, beating the 161-run triumph at Southampton in 1907.

The crushing success, which comes on the back of an innings victory over Leicestershire, is the first time since 2004 that Hampshire have boasted a 100 per cent record after the first two rounds of the Championship season.

Vince, who was out for single figures in both innings following on from his double-century at Grace Road, was delighted to see a number of players contributing to the win.

Abbas was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with match figures of 9-39, with Holland and Sam Northeast scoring centuries.

That was after Vince, Dawson and Tom Alsop all scored hundreds against Leicestershire, where Mason Crane took six wickets and Brad Wheal four ¶

‘The balance of the side we have with four very good seamers and two spinners, we do feel like we have all conditions covered and we can hopefully roll with the momentum,’ Vince said.

‘Over the course of the season you can't rely on one or two players, so to have so many guys contributing is a good sign.

‘It's a good place to be and hopefully we can keep this going over the next few months and build on the start we've had.’

Middlesex skipper Steve Eskinazi revealed he had held an emotional dressing room meeting after his side had been skittled for 79 on the second day. That followed a dispiriting loss to Somerset in their first match.

‘We have to sit down and take accountability and responsibility and it was unbelievably confronting for the group of players,’ Eskianzi said.

‘It was hugely emotional for each and every single person in the dressing room and if anyone out there doesn't believe that they are kidding themselves.

‘If we batted better in the first innings and scored 280 runs batting fourth then it would have been a win for the ages, so we have to take those positives.’

Hampshire’s next game is against Gloucestershire, starting at The Ageas Bowl on Thursday. After their eight-wicket win against Somerset, Chris Dent’s side have also begun the season with two Championship victories in a row.

Hampshire lead the table, though, by two points.

Scores: Hampshire 319 & 290-4 dec bt Middlesex 79 & 281 by 249 runs. Hampshire 22 points, Middlesex 3.