Hartley thunders and thrills

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The Independent Online
Cricket

Barrie Fairall

reports from Southampton

Forget what had gone before. This four-day match worked its way down to a one-day finish here as Yorkshire celebrated their fifth Championship win of the season with five balls remaining. To the rumble of thunder in the distance, some thunderous blows, not least from the battered bowler Peter Hartley, helped to settle the issue in thrilling fashion.

Hartley, struck in the ribs on Saturday by Heath Streak, made a busy start yesterday, as Hampshire lost their last seven wickets for 65. Hartley, four wickets first time around, claimed another five to leave his side needing 264 for victory from 64 overs on a sweltering and humid afternoon and while he put his feet up, the business end of the batting set up things perfectly for a late charge.

Hampshire's disappointment had begun with the removal of Paul Terry six short of a century by Richard Stemp, and the slow left-armer also accounted for Cardigan Connor. At five down, however, Hampshire's lead of 235 looked useful until Hartley whistled out Giles White, Shaun Udal and Adrian Aymes cheaply, while Stemp also chipped in either side of lunch to finish with 4 for 68.

Michael Vaughan then began the chase with a steady innings. Dropped in the gully by Sean Morris on 54, he had made 70 by the time Connor had his revenge, and there was more to come. Craig White maintained the momentum initially by clattering seven boundaries in a 38-ball stay worth 36 before Udal temporarily halted the carnage.

At the other end, meanwhile, Michael Bevan had been accumulating runs, the fourth-wicket stand realising 61 in 11 overs. Another product of the Australian Academy, the left-hander had made a century in the first innings and he had added another 56 when the debutant spinner, Richard Dibden, managed to get him to drive straight into the safe hands of Terry at short mid-off.

Yorkshire were then 225 for 6, and 38 were now needed from five overs. Enter Hartley with a flurry of blows, as Dibden went for two mighty sixes in an over costing 15 runs. And while Hartley was caught behind off Streak, Richard Blakey steered Yorkshire home, having registered an unbeaten 27 off 29 deliveries.

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