Fewer words today as I expected a short day but Essex strained until the last hour and Hampshire found some resistance eventually to take this match close to the end of the day.
At one stage a lunch finish looked on the cards as two early wickets fell – Vince has done himself few favours here in making a case for the Test side but county cricket seems to have little relevance when it comes to selection. Abbott hung around too long as a night watchman until he ran himself out after an hours play. The edge went off the game from this point. Essex just couldn’t get the breakthrough needed and Hampshire found a bit more resistance with Northeast and later Alsop and Berg digging in as best they could. Hampshire should have done a lot better and with results elsewhere going against them, they find themselves in danger of relegation whilst Essex with the eventual win should have made themselves safe.
Neither side impressed in this match, Sussex were too ‘in your face’ against Middlesex and came unstuck. The latter’s rebuilding is making some progress. Notts have fallen away after their early season successes and seemed to be more champs than chumps when they met Essex at Chelmsford but Surrey just motor on. The crunch comes at Ciderabad in mid month!