Hampshire’s bid for third County Championship title coincides with 60th anniversary of historic first success

Hampshire’s bid to make a winning start to their Division 1 campaign coincides with the 60th anniversary of their first ever County Championship title success.

By Simon Carter
Sunday, 29th August 2021, 1:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th August 2021, 1:37 pm
The Hampshire squad that won the county's first Championship title 60 years ago. Back (from left): Arthur Holt (coach), Dennis Baldry, David 'Butch' White, Malcolm Heath, Alan Wassell, Danny Livingstone, Mike Barnard, Norman Drake (scorer). Front: Peter Sainsbury, Mervyn Burden, Derek Shackleton, Roy Marshall, Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie (Captain), Leo Harrison, Jimmy Gray, Henry Horton. Foreground: Brian Timms, Bernard Harrison. Picture: David Allen (Hampshire Cricket historian).
The Hampshire squad that won the county's first Championship title 60 years ago. Back (from left): Arthur Holt (coach), Dennis Baldry, David 'Butch' White, Malcolm Heath, Alan Wassell, Danny Livingstone, Mike Barnard, Norman Drake (scorer). Front: Peter Sainsbury, Mervyn Burden, Derek Shackleton, Roy Marshall, Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie (Captain), Leo Harrison, Jimmy Gray, Henry Horton. Foreground: Brian Timms, Bernard Harrison. Picture: David Allen (Hampshire Cricket historian).

James Vince’s men are returning to first class action this week against Yorkshire at The Ageas Bowl, starting tomorrow.

This coming Wednesday is 60 years to the day when Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie’s side defeated Derbyshire at Bournemouth for their 19th first class win in 31 three-day matches.

Not even a defeat in their final match, against a Yorkshire side who finished 18 points adrift as runners-up, could dampen Hampshire’s celebrations.

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Six decades ago, Hampshire conceded a first innings deficit of 12 runs - but ended up romping to victory by 140 runs.

Portsmouth-born Mike Barnard (61) shared a key second wicket stand of 99 for the fifth wicket with Peter Sainsbury (73) as Ingleby-Mackenzie declared on 263-8.

Derek Shackleton (6-39) then ran through the Derbyshire order as the visitors collapsed to 111 on the final afternoon.

Fareham-born spinner Alan Wassell followed up his first innings 5-132 with 2-62 while Saisnbury (2-5) dismissed young Bob Taylor - the same Taylor who was keeping wicket for England 20 years later aged 41!

Wassell is the only Hampshire player from that history-making match still alive, though Brian Timms and Dennis Baldry - who also played that year - are also still alive.

Sainsbury was the only member of the Hampshire side who was still around when the county won their second - and last - Championship title 12 years later.

Roy Marshall was Hampshire’s leading first-class runscorer 60 years ago, with 2,455 at 43.83. Henry Horton (2,067) and Jimmy Gray (1,950) were next highest.

Somerset’s Bill Alley was the Championship’s highest scorer (2,532) with Marshall and Horton second and third.

Leading wicket-takers were Shackleton (153) - the highest in the tournament - and Butch White (117). Wassell, 21 years old at the time, ended with 54.

Turning the clock forward 60 years, Hampshire enter their opening Division 1 game against Yorkshire fourth in the six-team group with eight and a half points.

That is half of the points they won in their two games against Somerset, the other county who qualified for the top flight from their group.

Hampshire picked up just three points in losing by 10 wickets at home, while they collected another 14 from drawing the return game in Taunton.

Yorkshire start at the bottom of Division 1, with four and a half points. Warwickshire are top, with 21, after completing a group double over Nottinghamshire (who still won their group).

The team that finishes top of Division 1 will be crowned the 2021 county champions.

The top two teams will then contest a five-day match at Lord's for the Bob Willis Trophy, which was won by Essex in 2020.

Hampshire were always hopeful that Pakistan international seamer Mohammad Abbas would return for the final month if the county qualified for Division 1.

Though he is unavailable for the Yorkshire opener, due to quarantining, he will be available for the other four games – starting against Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Sunday, September 5.

The 31-year-old was a smash hit in his first spell - taking 27 wickets at an average of just 15.96 in seven group games in April and May.