Hampshire's Chris Tremlett goes into his next Championship match on a hat-trick after bowling his side to a remarkable victory over Durham in three days. When he whipped out tail-enders Simon Brown and Nicky Hatch in successive balls to wrap it all up, he also ensured Hampshire remained unbeaten in the Second Division on their new ground.
This was Tremlett's second Championship match and his 4 for 34 continued the mathematical progression, the previous two innings having yielded two and three wickets respectively.
With the exception of the abundantly talented Nicky Peng, the Durham batting was far too flabby to hit the 211 runs needed for victory. While Peng was at the crease there was always a chance that his firm drives and confident cuts would prevail, but the other end wilted and finally the 18-year-old holed out, top-edging a short ball from Dimitri Mascarenhas when he was one run off a deserved half-century.
Defeat means Durham have now not won away since July 1999 and, if they fail to hang on to catches such as the one they put down when Neil Johnson was on 34, that interval will grow ever longer. Johnson went on to become top scorer in the match.
Inexplicably Durham did not call on the strike bowler Simon Brown first thing. By the time he did make an appearance Hampshire's eighth-wicket pair of Johnson and Shaun Udal had advanced the score by 51 vital runs. Significantly, Brown struck in his second over.
Johnson's unbeaten 86 was his highest for Hampshire and the fourth time he had passed fifty in his last five innings. But he had to spend well over three hours at the crease to get the runs, though he received excellent support from Udal. The off-spinner showed a very correct technique and also a degree of prudence that had been lacking in the upper order the day before.
It was because of this sensible approach that Udal and Johnson were able to add a fighting 84 runs off 28 overs for the eighth wicket. It needed the return of Simon Brown to uproot his off-stump and nip that uprising in the bud; by then though a lot of the damage had been done.Reuse content