Hampshire Through The Decades: 2010s

Introducing a new weekly series from Hampshire Cricket historian, Dave Allen, as he remembers Hampshire's best moments from every decade since World War II

Hampshire Cricket's historian, Dave Allen, is back with a brand new series - Hampshire Through The Decades - as he looks at some of the best moments from Hampshire's history from each decade following the conclusion of the World War II. 

This week's final instalment sees him take a journey back to the 2010s.

When the first knock-out Cup started in 1963, it was played for 65 overs per side; the following year that was cut to 60 which lasted many decades. By 2009, Hampshire won their Lord’s Final in a 50-over match and the counties also competed in the Pro-40 League as well as the T20. But in 2010, the first-class counties reverted to just three competitions with the two original limited-overs competitions ‘merged’ into the shortened CB40 with three leagues, followed by semi-finals and a Lord’s Final,

Captain Dimi Mascarenhas was injured for much of the season, replaced at times by Nic Pothas or Dominic Cork and after seven disappointing years, he led Hampshire to the T20 Trophy, beating Somerset with scores level on their own ground, on a damp Saturday. Hampshire’s young side included Vince, Bates, Wood & Briggs – Dawson was missing injured – and they embarked on a series of successful years in the T20, winning again in 2012 at Cardiff in the year when a last-ball victory over Warwickshire at Lord’s, gave them a ‘white ball’ double.

Life in the Championship was generally less easy. In 2010 they just avoided relegation from Division One, but the following year they were down and spent three years in Division Two. By this time Jimmy Adams had been appointed as the county’s first post-war Hampshire-born official captain and they reached both semi-finals in 2013 and the T20 Finals Day again in 2014.

They were disappointed not to reach another Final, but after an intriguing three-way struggle with Essex and Worcestershire Hampshire, and a good contingent of their supporters made the trip from England for the crucial match against Glamorgan at Cardiff in late September.

On the first day they fell to 53-5 until rescued by centuries from Vince and Ervine after which Wood and Coles bowled them to a lead of 185. The captain then led the way as Hampshire approached a rate of five runs-per-over and the declaration left Glamorgan to score 434 to win. They didn’t get close, with James Tomlinson taking 6-48, although debutant Aneurin Donald resisted with an impressive 59 at a run-a-minute. By mid-afternoon Hampshire had won to secure promotion and the Division Two title.

Not without difficulty, and with some good fortune, Hampshire stayed in Division One for the rest of that decade before COVID struck and the longer form was reorganised into the Bob Willis Trophy. 

James Vince succeeded Jimmy Adams as club captain and by 2017 they were fifth in the Championship and once again reached T20 Finals day without progressing to the Final. But in 2018 they were back at Lord’s, beating Kent to win the Royal London Cup. They were there again in 2019, meeting Somerset, but without Vince and Dawson in England’s trophy-winning World Cup squad, they lost a second Lord’s Final.

We were not to know at the time, but when in September, Kyle Abbott broke all Hampshire’s bowling records in taking 17-88 against Somerset, in the process ruining their title prospects, it was not merely the last home Championship game of the decade but possibly the last in the 20 seasons of the two divisions. We await the new post-COVID arrangements with interest.

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