County Championship: Hashim Amla bats through final day as Surrey draw with Hampshire

Hashim Amla batting for Surrey
Hashim Amla also scored a double century against Hampshire this season earlier in the competition
LV= County Championship Group Two, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day four):
Hampshire 488: De Grandhomme 174*, Organ 67, Holland 58; Clark 4-110
Surrey 72: Amla 29; Barker 4-24; Abbott 3-31 & 122-8 (f/o): Amla 37*; Barker 3-9, Organ 2-35
Hampshire (13 pts) drew with Surrey (11 pts)

Hashim Amla batted through the final day to make 37 not out off 278 balls to secure Surrey a draw against Hampshire.

The South Africa batsman survived being dropped at short fine leg on 30 off Keith Barker as he showed incredible powers of concentration and patience.

Surrey closed on 122-8 in their follow-on, having resumed on 6-2 on the last morning, seemingly set for defeat.

But despite Barker taking 3-9 and bowling 17 maidens in his 22 overs, Hampshire could only take six wickets.

The result leaves both sides’ chances of qualifying for the top division in the second phase of this year’s County Championship in the balance going into the final round of fixtures, starting on Sunday.

Hampshire, who move up to second, face Gloucestershire at Cheltenham while Surrey in third, host group leaders Somerset at The Oval.

Those positions will change once fourth-placed Gloucestershire’s match against Middlesex finishes on Thursday.

Amla, who also made 215 not out against Hampshire at The Oval earlier in the competition, came out to bat at the start of the final day after Rory Burns had been dismissed off the last ball the previous evening.

Nightwatchman Amar Virdi was dismissed six overs into the morning session, leaving Amla to first find support from Ryan Patel (16), who batted through until after lunch – they only scored 18 runs in 30 overs during the morning – before Kyle Abbott (1-19) took out his off stump.

Jamie Smith (14) and mid-match substitute Ben Geddes (15) also dug in but were both dismissed before tea to leave Surrey 78-5 going into the final session.

Despite losing Jordan Clark (4) and Jamie Overton (11) inside the final hour, Rikki Clarke (2 not out) helped steer Surrey to a draw that keeps their top-two hopes just about alive.

Surrey batsman Hashim Amla told BBC Radio London:

“Everyone who came out there put their hand up and had a clear plan. We tried our best to block it out as best we could and, thankfully, we managed to go all the way.

“There were some nervous moments, but the way the youngsters played was the most-pleasing thing. They really stood out and that was fantastic for me.

“It’s a difficult situation as you always want to score runs, but when they committed to the cause, it worked out. You also need a bit of good fortune on a wicket like that, but thankfully it came our way.

“Days two and three were pretty poor from us, but we managed to pull it back on day four and everyone played their part.”

Hampshire skipper Kyle Abbott:

“I said to Hash that he is not obviously going for a Hundred Ball contract!

“He is an incredible batsman and when he gets into his bubble he doesn’t let much through. In saying that, he gave us a chance we couldn’t capitalise on.

“Every bowler and every fielder put it in. The energy was excellent from 11am until 6.30. Unfortunately we couldn’t get across the line but you can’t fault the effort.

“That kind of summed up our bad luck on the day. You need those chances to stick if you want to win matches, especially on day four.”


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