• 1895 – 2018

Southampton (Northlands Road and the Ageas Bowl), Bournemouth, Basingstoke and Portsmouth have been the five venues for Yorkshire’s visits to Hampshire. Paul Dyson looks back at a match at Southampton’s old ground which had several twists and turns. The photo of Darren Gough appears courtesy of Mick Pope.

May 20, 21, 22, 24, 1993 at Southampton: Hampshire 307-8dec (AN Aymes 50*) & 162-9dec (KD James 51, D Gough 5-50); Yorkshire 248 (MD Moxon 75, KD James 4-33) & 224-4 (MD Moxon 61, D Byas 53*). Yorkshire won by six wickets.

The form of these two counties, over the years previous to this game, had been opposite to what their traditional positions in the County Championship had been. Hampshire, who had won the title only twice, had spent only three of the previous 12 seasons below ninth position whereas Yorkshire, who had won the title outright on 29 occasions, had spent only one of the same number of recent seasons above tenth place.

This match was being played early in the season and was one of a number of experimental four-day games which were scheduled for the beginnings and endings of the seasons. Coming into this game the two counties had identical records: Hampshire had, thus far, beaten Somerset and drawn with Durham – in only its second season – and Yorkshire had beaten Essex and drawn with Worcestershire.

The first day’s play was entirly lost to rain and so Yorkshire decided to field on winning the toss. Hampshire ‘struggled to score freely on a slow pitch’ (Wisden). Nevertheless they made steady progress, Terry Middleton and David Gower sharing a half-century stand, but skipper Mark Nicholas had to retire hurt when the score was 161 for four having been struck on a finger by a ball from Mark Robinson; he played very little part in the rest of the match. When stumps were drawn the score stood at 247 for six, Adrian Aymes and Shaun Udal having shared a stand of 67 which was the highest of the day.

On the second day Hampshire added only one more run to their overnight total before a wicket fell. Udal was caught-and-bowled for 39 by Michael Foster, making his first-class debut, to give him three wickets, each of which had come in the first over of a spell, and the best figures of the innings which was declared closed on 307 for eight, Cardigan Connor having shared a half-century stand with Aymes who was left 50 not out. He had led the ‘spirited resistance’ (Ibid) which enabled the home side to claim a third batting point. Yorkshire’s reply started well, skipper Martyn Moxon and Ashley Metcalfe putting an opening stand of 81 together. Richard Blakey also batted well – he shared a stand of 75 with Moxon (a brave 75 in four hours) but the innings folded and Yorkshire conceded a lead of 59. Hampshire reached 18 for no wicket by close of play.

On the final day Hampshire slipped to 24 for three, two wickets to Darren Gough, before Kevan James, who had taken four wickets in Yorkshire’s innings, led a recovery with 51; five wickets fell for 15 runs, including three more to Gough who finished with five for 50, and Hampshire declared on 162 for nine to set Yorkshire a target of 222 from 42 overs. Moxon and Metcalfe scored only ten from eight overs before tea but then took 57 from the first four after the break, the pair sharing a stand of 72. Moxon (61) and Richie Richardson then put on 66 together before Byas led the homeward charge with an undfeated 53 from only 33 balls. He shared 63 with Blakey and the visitors ‘galloped home with 7.4 overs to spare’ (Ibid), scoring their runs in the final session at 8.84 per over, for an outstanding victory.

Unfortunately this good result did not provide Yorkshire with any lasting impetus for the rest of the season and they won only three more games, finishing in 12th place, Hampshire ending their campaign in joint-13th position.

Man of the Match

The 1993 season was the breakthrough year for Darren Gough; it was his fifth season in first-class cricket and his best so far had been in 1990 when he had taken 28 wickets at an average of 37.03. Three years later his haul had increased to 57 at 26.61. Richie Richardson, the West Indian Test captain, was Yorkshire’s overseas player in 1993 and it was he who encouraged Gough to try to bowl faster. The advice paid dividends; he was selected to tour South Africa in the following winter with the England A team, took 23 wickets in only five matches and made his Test and ODI debuts in 1994.

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