Hampshire vs Surrey day one: Seamers star on the south coast as 17 wickets fall on opening day


Hampshire: 149

Surrey: 143-7

Prost player of the day: Rikki Clarke (5-21) & 35*

Veteran Rikki Clarke showed no signs of slowing down as his 5 for 21 and a 71-run partnership with England hopeful Ollie Pope left the match in the balance ahead of day two.

The day started in dramatic fashion as the quartet of Surrey pacemen ripped through the Royals batting lineup, bowling them out for just 149 before tea. During Rikki Clarke’s five-wicket haul, the 37-year-old grabbed his 500th first-class wicket.

After being reduced to 42-5 during the misery of the morning session and then 90-8, James Vince’s men knew things could have been even worse if it wasn’t for a late fightback led by the duo of Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott. The two last wickets went for 60 runs as they saved top-order blushes.

Surrey’s batsmen hardly fared any better though. They lost openers Dean Elgar and Mark Stoneman in quick succession. When the Pope-Foakes partnership was broken, Surrey found themselves staring down the barrel at 61-5.

At one time, Keith Barker displayed figures of three wickets for just seven runs as the fast-bowler highlighted the unique ebb and flow feel county cricket continues to produce. Ollie Pope offered staunch resistance with 68 but two late wickets for Hampshire leave the match tentatively poised.

The day’s play:

Following a disappointing Vitality T20 campaign for both sides, Hampshire welcomed Surrey to the Ageas Bowl to restart red-ball action. The last time the pair found themselves involved in a four-day fixture was actually against each other, where they battled to a stalemate at the Oval last month.

With not a cloud in sight and the sun blazing down, James Vince opted to bat first. Whilst they faced a tough batting task, especially with the Ageas Bowl pitch traditionally troublesome at this time of year, it presented an opportunity for his side to re-discover winning ways. It also gave Vince a chance to stake a claim with the bat for England, particularly with the glaring frailties existing in the national Test set-up.

Meanwhile the visitors had a host of England hopefuls looking to prove their Test credentials. Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope travelled to the south coast with a heavier weight of expectation on their shoulders than usual. With England’s batting disasters showing no signs of halting, the pair were clamoured by supporters to be involved in the Ashes.

Despite that failing to materialise, both Foakes and Pope are set to be given a chance in the not so distant future. Runs on the board in this match would emphasise their respective cases. Ollie Pope’s previous county outing was an unbeaten 221 against Hampshire last time out and any sort of replica innings would certainly grab the national selectors attention.

A subdued first hour suddenly exploded into life as Surrey struck three times with the ball for as many runs. The two namesakes (spelt differently I know) Rikki Clarke and Jordan Clark picked up the wickets, leaving the south coast outfit’s dogged start creaking at 21-3.

The former grabbed his third wicket not long after, managing to nick Sam Northeast (4) off to compound Hampshire’s morning misery.

The prized wicket of James Vince (15) fell prior to lunch and gave Surrey an added bounce in their step when they walked off for lunch. After being put onto the field first, the visitors would have been delighted to have poached five wickets for just 60 runs.


Rikki Clarke’s 5-21 put Surrey in a dominant position – photo: @Surreycricket/Twitter

Second session

After a nice bite to eat and a resulting full stomach, Liam Dawson and Aneurin Donald strode back out to the middle as Hampshire required a sufficient response if they were to halt the Surrey momentum. Whilst the home side sat in fourth place before the morning session, only 13 points were separating themselves and their opponents, two places below.

However, that aggressive intent didn’t last long. Ten minutes into the second session Dawson (12) was sent packing after edging a Conor McKerr delivery through to Ben Foakes. Donald (27) and then Keith Barker (1) soon departed, with the latter a victim of an outrageous grab by Ollie Pope at gully.

With a fellow local journalist reminding me that here on the south coast “batting suddenly becomes easy after lunch,” Lewis McManus (27) and Kyle Abbott (27) staged a lower order counter-attack. The pair put on a 45-run partnership as both batsman found their timing on a surface that appeared to have it’s demons removed.

Morne Morkel concluded the innings and Hampshire were all out for 149. Yes it was extremely under-par and has set the home side with a monumental task, but it could have been a lot worse. Almost 60 runs were put for the final two-wickets. Experienced campaigner Rikki Clarke was the pick of the bowlers as he led the Surrey side off the field with a five-for to his name.

Fidel Edwards made the first inroad after five overs, picking up the wicket of Mark Stoneman for just two. In the following over, Dean Elgar (11) edged behind off the bowling of Kyle Abbott to leave Surrey’s openers back in the shed at 15-2. Scott Borthwick (7) also fell, leaving Surrey 40-3 heading into tea.

Final session

The first over after the interval produced another wicket. Jamie Smith’s (2) loose shot went straight into the grateful hands of Liam Dawson in the slip corden. Through consistency of line and length, the Hampshire bowlers were wrestling back control.

When Ben Foakes departed for just five, Hampshire were right back into this. The Pope-Foakes partnership, perhaps one of the most deadly in county cricket, was broken and James Vince’s troops had the opportunity to attack the lower order.

Nonetheless, whilst Ollie Pope was still there, Surrey remained confident. He was the first batsman to pass fifty, bringing up his half-century off 65 deliveries. Pope (68) and the man of the moment Clarke  (35*) combined to see Surrey strengthen their grip following a magnificent 71- run partnership between the pair.

Jordan Clark was trapped LBW in the last ball of the day as 17 wickets fall on day one. Surrey resume their innings trailing by six runs, with three wickets remaining tomorrow.

Team Lineups:

Hampshire: Organ. Holland, Alsop, Northeast, Vince*, Dawson, Donald, McManus (Wk), Barker, Abbott, Edwards.

Surrey: Elgar, Stoneman, Borthwick, Pope, Smith, Foakes* (Wk), Clarke, Clark, McKerr, Morkel, Virdi.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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