JACK Campbell pulled Hampshire to an unlikely comeback victory as the fast bowler routed Northamptonshire Steelback’s lower order on the Isle of Wight, writes Alex Smith.
The Steelbacks needed only 24 runs in their pursuit of 200 with five wickets in hand but collapsed in a heap to lose by 11 runs.
Campbell took three for 17, including two in two balls, before John Turner bumped out the last wicket to bowl Northamptonshire out for 188 to continue Hampshire’s perfect start to the Royal London Cup.
Rob Keogh had run the game in front of 2,000 strong crowd at Newclose with a career-best three for 32 coupled with an authoritative 74, before Hampshire’s late show.
Northamptonshire had the chase in complete control as Hampshire moved their show over to the Isle of Wight for the first time since 2019.
But every time Northamptonshire appeared to be cantering to victory, a wicket would add a sense of jitters.
With 23 runs still needed, Keogh was victim to the stoppy pitch and was caught at mid-off before the previously cheap Campbell snared Nathan Buck and Ben Sanderson in successive deliveries to alter the momentum completely.
James Sales was yorked by Campbell before a short pitch Turner delivery was skied to point to complete a famous Hampshire victory.
Earlier, Nick Gubbins made no hesitation when he chose to bat on a brilliantly hot day and on a pitch which gave the impression of being perfect for batting. It quickly proved otherwise.
Instead of speeding through, the ball stuck in the wicket to make it hard to time the ball. Aneurin Donald was the first to find this out when he guided the 12th ball of the match to point before Gubbins edged to second slip in the following over.
Ben Brown was leg before to a low bouncing Nathan Buck delivery having put on 45 with Tom Prest before Fletcha Middleton continued to recover the situation with a speedy 51 run partnership.
Prest, on the back of a superb 181 against Kent Spitfires, peppered the offside as he played the ball as late as he dared. His timing was proved with a straight drive early on and continued with late cuts.
His pièce de résistance was a skip and elegant drive over extra cover to bring up his half-century in 54 balls but fell to the following delivery when Alex Russell beguiled him in the flight, as the ball ended up in extra cover’s hands.
Middleton had accumulated 35 before Keogh started to turn the screw. The off-spinner pinned down a concrete-footed Middleton and then had Felix Organ caught and bowled off a full toss four balls later.
Keogh added a third when he bowled the top of Toby Albert’s off stump as Hampshire’s middle order fumbled without finding meaningful partnerships.
Barker, on his white-ball debut for Hampshire, provided some late innings runs with 38 but the Steelbacks refused to let the game get away from them as Jack White had Barker top edging to deep square and Campbell edging behind, while Currie was undone by a Buck short ball. Hampshire bowled out for 199 with 57 balls left unused.
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.
Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.
You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.
Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.
Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents