Cricket: Silver lining but no glory for Golding

Hampshire 262-7 Kent Board XI 132 Hampshire win by 130 runs
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IT WAS not quite a war, merely a one-sided battle. Still, the Kent Board XI wrestled well to try to bridge the gulf in yesterday's NatWest Trophy third-round contest here. But there is too much between the professional game and the recreational end of things.

Hampshire played well within themselves, never looking stretched. The Kent Board XI, comprising the leading club cricketers of the county, acquitted themselves well, as they had in the two earlier rounds against Denmark and the Worcestershire Board XI, but yesterday the first-class side were far too strong.

There was never any chance of the amateurs matching the Hampshire score, although in man of the match James Golding they had a doughty fighter. He hung around long enough to pull within sight of what would have been a deserved fifty, only to fall leg before to an injudicious and ambitious sweep when a tantalising three runs away from the mark.

He had come in at the fall of the fourth wicket and stayed for almost an hour and a half, during which time he hauled the Kent side away from an ignominious defeat and into the realms of respectability. His innings included a fine six over mid-off, smacked off the bowling of Dimitri Mascarenhas, who had himself hit two sixes, both over midwicket, when he was putting the seal on the Hampshire innings.

Golding and Simon Williams had shared in a useful fifth-wicket stand of 63, before they were parted with the score at exactly 100. Williams became one of Matthew Keech's two victims, spooning a soft catch to Mascarenhas at square leg when he made 26.

The remainder of the Kent side were just not up to it and were rolled over with nine overs to spare. They were really no match for the economy of the professionals. Peter Hartley not only kept the runs down but also took two early wickets, and the West Indies fast bowler Nixon McLean may not have taken a wicket but he conceded only nine runs from his six overs.

Earlier Kent had received a lesson in run-making, first from Derek Kenway and Jason Laney, who put on 97 for the first wicket, then from Robin Smith, the Hampshire captain, who had looked well set for a century when he was brilliantly run out by Jon Bowden. The fielder had just one stump to aim at and hit it from a range of 25 yards. It was a shame because Smith had been scoring at better than a run a ball. He was missed, although it was a difficult chance, by the Kent captain, Andy Tutt, when he had scored 35.

While that was a hard chance others were not so tricky and indeed if there could be any criticism made of the club men it had to be the catching. The fielding was very sharp, Bowden in particular made some superb stops, but they did have a propensity to put down catches.

Kenway was dropped, again by Tutt, this time a far more straightforward one which Tutt juggled with before spilling it. Fortunately Kenway, on 37 at the time, only added 10 more runs and Will Kendall, dropped by Mark Alexander, fell just half a dozen runs later on 39. Jason Laney had by then gone on to score a chanceless half century, punctuated with powerful pulls, delicate dabs and delightful drives.

Damon Trigger bowled well, and his figures of 3 for 53 were somewhat distorted by the late flurry as Smith and his men cut loose and former Kent CCC man, Eddie Stanford, took 1 for 34 in his 10 overs.