SLOG and fetch, those usual commissioners for oaths in these league matches, were largely conspicuous by their absence here. Hampshire had no complaints, though, as they served up their version of a Sunday roast by beating Middlesex out of sight and were never in danger of going the full distance.
Robin Smith, with nearly 150 under his belt already from two outings and who made it down from a Lord's washout to bolster the cause, in the event was made redundant. Tip and run did put in an appearance, however, in the shape of Paul Terry and Tony Middleton, who ensured Hampshire had a comfortable four overs in hand when achieving their second win in three matches.
Terry was the dominant force, his three sixes and half a dozen fours taking him to 91. Middleton was just as faultless. Middlesex never saw a glimmer of an opening.
They had set off at a reasonable gallop, thanks to Desmond Haynes and Mike Roseberry, who contributed two boundaries off Kevan James in the fourth over, which cost Hampshire 14 runs. Such plunder was a rarity, though, on a slow wicket, assisting the seamers and an excellent piece of fielding changed the innings.
With Middlesex into the thirties in the fifth over, Haynes turned Norman Cowans to Mark Nicholas at midwicket and sent his partner back. Roseberry was out of luck, the Hampshire captain swooping to throw down the stumps.
The next 10 overs produced only 10 runs at a loss of two further wickets. Haynes went leg before to James for 21, while Mark Ramprakash fell to Winston Benjamin's second ball when Matthew Keech took a stunning slip catch.
Benjamin also plucked out Mike Gatting's off stump and had Paul Weekes caught at square leg. That left Middlesex at a limp 79 for 5 in the 27th over and Hampshire rubbing their hands.
However, from the point of view of spectators, the fact they could enjoy a sunny evening was down to John Carr and Keith Brown. The sixth-wicket pair were not for separating, doubling the score and taking 70 off the last 10 overs, which was more like the usual fare.Reuse content