Friday, 18 April 2014

'England's next spinner' jibes rile Carberry into action

Hampshire (422 & 215-2) beat Gloucestershire (304 & 322) by eight wickets
Points: Hampshire 24, Gloucestershire 6

The Jessop Tavern View is not accustomed to having much influence on player performance. Even at the lowly level of LVCC Division 2, our pleas for increased concentration and application frequently go ignored by the Gloucestershire squad. This phenomenon appears not to apply to members of the opposition, though. In an earlier post, we suggested that Michael Carberry's best chance of an England appearance this season may be as the recently-retired Graeme Swann's spin replacement. These harsh words appear to have stung Carbs into action, as he struck an unbeaten hundred on Day 4, to guide Hampshire to an easy 8 wicket victory at Bristol.

It's hard to be too critical of a Glos performance which saw the boys score over 300 in both innings, not something we achieved on a regular basis in season's past. However, we did lose wickets in clusters on both Days 1 & 2, which contributed to our downfall against a powerful batting lineup. The bowlers tried hard, but ultimately looked pretty popgun on a flat deck, and a blunt analysis would suggest that we will struggle to take wickets against the better batsmen in the division. There were a few positives however, not least the excellent hundred from Will 'more shots than his uncle' Tavare and 19 year old Matt Taylor. Taylor took 6 wickets and certainly looked a better left arm option than David Payne, who seems to have plateaued with the ball and looked more like a batsman who bowls on the evidence of this match.

It's a bloody good job that Taylor performed with the ball too, as the other seam bowlers were disappointing, particularly James Fuller, who leaked runs with gay abandon in both Hampshire innings. The lack of a viable spin option should come as no surprise to Glos fans, who have witnessed numerous comedians attempting to hold down an end of the last few years. Let's hope that Tom Smith isn't too scarred from the tremendous amount of tap he took in this game, especially in the second innings, where an admittedly 'in the mood' James Vince really went to town on his bowling.

Anyway, this was only the first game of a long season and as captain Klinger stated on the official site, we need to learn some lessons from the defeat, not least avoiding losing momentum by losing wickets in clusters and consistently bowling a load of four balls to help ease batsmen into their innings.

Up next, fellow lower mid-table candidates Glamorgan, who we face at Sophia Gardens on Sunday. Could be an interesting contest, especially as the ever-fragile Ian Saxelby is in the 12 and can hopefully provide a greater cutting edge with the ball alongside Gidman Jr, Taylor and one of Payne or Fuller.

Video highlights from Day 4:

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