Nic Pothas and his Hampshire team-mates were struggling to contain their frustration last night, after their determined rearguard against Surrey was ended by a controversial umpiring decision.
Pothas could scarcely believe it when he was given out lbw by Mike Harris for 92 – having kept out 255 deliveries and masterminded a ninth-wicket stand of 99 with David Griffiths, which ate up 43 overs on the last day at the Rose Bowl.
The stand-in captain dragged himself from the crease and swished his bat in anger once clear of the umpire's eye line as he made his way off the pitch.
With him gone, Surrey quickly completed an innings-and-37-run victory which took them up from eighth to sixth in the LV County Championship First Division table.
Hampshire must come to terms with a significant dent to their title aspirations thanks to a defeat which was largely of their own making, thanks to moderate first-innings batting which meant they had to follow on.
Pothas chose not to offer his opinions, but first-team manager Paul Terry said: "Understandably, he was not very happy. It was a poor decision. It was disappointing for him. He's fought all day, and then it ends like that
As for Hampshire's prospects of staying in the hunt for the title, Terry concedes they could ill afford to lose. "It is a big blow, because we only got three points out of the game. The last couple of games we've had haven't been the best."
Nicky Boje and David Sales hit a century partnership to help Northamptonshire win their crucial Pro40 basement battle against Warwickshire.
Former South Africa international Boje led the way with bat and ball – hitting an unbeaten 74 and taking three for 41 to see the home side over the line with four overs to spare.
Together with captain Sales (58), Boje put on a fourth-wicket partnership of 100 while Riki Wessels also blasted 52 from only 29 balls. The result leaves the spectre of Second Division cricket hanging over the Bears who only have one match remaining.
The England bowler Ryan Sidebottom was frustrated in his attempts to prove his fitness ahead of the World Twenty20 yesterday when Nottinghamshire's Pro40 First Division match against Lancashire at Old Trafford was abandoned.
The 29-year-old has been out since the third Test against India last month because of a side strain but is fit again. "You can only train so much," he said. "My job is to bowl, and I just want to get back to doing that."Reuse content