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Hants criticised by Surrey captain Smith
Hampshire were criticised by Surrey captain Graeme Smith after another bore draw at The Ageas Bowl.
Jimmy Adams was understandably reluctant to agree to a Surrey run chase after Hampshire had made 289-3, having lost the toss, during the 74 overs that were possible on the rain-affected first three days.
With pre-season favourites Surrey struggling at the wrong end of division two, former South Africa captain Smith hoped Hampshire would agree to defend “something like 300 in 65 overs”.
Instead, the only full day’s play of the match became a battle for bonus points, with Hampshire claiming maximum batting points for the fourth time in seven LV County Championship matches, following James Vince’s masterful 159.
Smith, a former Rajasthan Royals teammate of Hampshire legend Shane Warne, said: “I’m a little disappointed in Hampshire. I used to hear Warney talk about their positive play but they didn’t want to set up a game.
“We tried our best but they weren’t having it so it ended up a boring draw. We’re a young side that likes to challenge ourselves.
“Any opportunity to make a game of it and take the game forward and learn and hopefully get a positive result is the way that we want to go so it was disappointing it didn’t work out.
“For us to get into positions where we can play competitive cricket is so much more valuable than just finishing a day’s play.
“It would have suited everyone, including the crowd that made the effort to be here. It can only benefit English cricket if teams are always looking to win or create an opportunity to win. It’s important from a mindset perspective.
“Hampshire had an opportunity to gain 16 points because we’d have certainly gone for a target if we’d had an opportunity to create one.
"We’ve got quite a young batting unit which is another reason I was surprised they didn't want to make a game of it.
“But it was nice they showed a lot of confidence in us, they obviously see us as title contenders. We'll take the compliment!"
In fairness to Adams, Hampshire had far more to lose than Surrey. And Adams is wary of taking a gamble after receiving flak for agreeing to chase 400-plus against Gloucestershire last season.
He said: “If we were going to set anything up we felt we should get the edge on it. We felt we needed 80-odd overs to bowl them out and were reluctant to cede ground.
“It would have been nice for the neutral but it’s still only April. If it was September it might have been different.”
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