Nottinghamshire 211 & 238 Hampshire 203 & 449-5 dec (Hamps won by 203 runs): Newell goes back to drawing board as Notts choke again
Sunday 28 September 2008
Nottinghamshire's stuttering and unconvincing attempt to win a sixth Championship finally ended yesterday when Charlie Shreck had a wild and futile hack at Hampshire's Imran Tahir and lobbed a simple catch to Michael Carberry at cover point. The moment would, no doubt, have been relayed in graphic detail to a celebrating Durham side boozily making their way up the M1 on the team coach.
As Durham gulped in the intoxicating air of triumph, Trent Bridge fell into a pit of soul-searching. As well as Durham have played this season, winning more games than any other Division One side, the fact that Notts blew it when the title was theirs to be won cannot be avoided.
"The game was lost on the second day, the batting performance cost us the game and the Championship," said Mick Newell, Notts' director of cricket. "We should have put together 350 to 400 and Hampshire would have played a different way in their second innings."
Notts finish the season as the nearly men of county cricket, after losing their final games in the Championship and the NatWest Pro40 and finishing second in each competition.
"It is the fourth time this season we have fallen away in big matches," said Newell. "In all four competitions we have had to play one-off winner-takes- all matches and we have lost each of them. There is obviously an issue in our ability to cope with these situations and we will have to look at it during the winter and try to correct it."
Hampshire batted into the fourth morning, finally declaring with a lead of 441 when Liam Dawson had reached his maiden first-class hundred. It could hardly be said that Notts, reeling from a dreadful first-innings collapse in which they lost seven wickets for 39, were very motivated, but Dawson struck the ball beautifully. The 18-year-old effortlessly drove Shreck over extra cover for six.
A row three years ago involving the two teams would have influenced the lateness of the declaration. In 2005, Notts set Kent a ridiculous target which they fell spectacularly, some thought recklessly, short of reaching. That cost Hampshire the title, handing it to Notts. Shane Warne, the Hampshire captain, had plenty to say about that.
If a side are to successfully chase 442 in 76 overs they need a quick start, so Notts opened with Graeme Swann. The all-rounder hacked a couple of fours before missing a heave at Dimitri Mascarenhas and losing his leg stump. Mark Wagh fell two balls later, edging a good delivery to second slip. Will Jefferson drove a stinging catch to mid-off and Ashwell Prince became Mascarenhas's fourth victim when he chipped a catch back to the bowler.
Samit Patel and Bilal Shafayat forged an excellent 94-run stand but both fell in three overs with more than 250 runs still required. Tahir's leg spin was always going to be difficult to slog and his variations proved too much for the middle and lower order, who once again fell meekly.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments