CRICKET – County Championship Div 1: Nottinghamshire v Hampshire

Cricket Tips


County Championship – LV= Div One
Nottinghamshire (1st) v Hampshire (9th)
Monday 17th May – Thursday 20th May 2010 – 1100hrs
I may have been a little harsh on Nottinghamshire recently, but they now occupy top spot in Division One and will be looking to consolidate their position with a fifth successive win in the County Championship when they entertain bottom of the pile Hampshire starting on Monday.
Notts have quietly gone about their business and now hold an eight point advantage over second placed rivals Yorkshire, who travel to Taunton on Monday to play lowly Somerset (see my preview for an in-depth analysis).
Notts have been totally dominant at Trent Bridge so far in Division One, and were also victorious when they travelled to Southampton against Hampshire earlier in the season. Their results so far; v Kent (won by an innings and 32 runs), v Somerset (won by 2 wickets), v Hampshire (won by 5 wickets), v Durham (won by an innings and 62 runs) – I think it was this last victory that made people really sit up and take notice as they trounced last season’s winners and this season’s hot tips to take out the Div One title again.
Notts’ batting;  Pakistan test batsman Hashim Amla (LVD1: 377 @ 75.40) leads the run scoring charts, and with Mark Wagh (LVD1: 272 @ 54.40), the evergreen Ali Brown (LVD1: 265 @ 44.16), all-rounder Paul Franks (LVD1: 258 @ 51.60) and wicketkeeper/batsman/skipper Chris Read (LVD1: 231 @ 57.75) all scoring runs, they have the personnel to really put the Hampshire bowlers to the sword here. Incidentally, Nottinghamshire batsmen have scored 5 centuries so far.
Notts bowling: Paul Franks (LVD1: 17wkts @ 20.70) leads the way and is backed up by left arm spinner Samit Patel (LVD1: 11wkts @ 21.54), medium pacer Darren Pattinson (LVD1: 11wkts @ 28.09) and New Zealander Andre Adams (LVD1: 10wkts @ 26.80). Charlie Shreck also poses a threat.
Hampshire have endured a wretched start to their Division One campaign, losing four and drawn one in their opening five fixtures; v Essex (lost by 62 runs), v Durham (lost by 5 wickets), v Warwickshire (lost by 8 wickets), v Nottinghamshire (lost by 5 wickets) and v Somerset (draw).
Hants batting: Zimbabwean Sean Ervine (LVD1: 496 @ 62.00) and Michael Carberry (LVD1: 425 @ 42.50) are both in good form – Carberry has registered two centuries so far. Jimmy Adams (LVD1: 387 @ 38.70) and Nic Pothas (LVD1: 331 @ 36.77) are also capable of putting together substantial innings. Overseas batsman Neil McKenzie (LVD1: 185 @ 20.55) has been disappointing so far and the pressure is mounting on him to maintain his place.
Hants bowling: Pacemen Kabir Ali (LVD1: 19 wkts @ 25.68) and David Griffiths (LVD1: 19 wkts @ 34.00) have shared the bulk of their wickets this season. Slow left arm spinners, Sri Lankan Rangana Herath (LVD1: 8 wkts @ 34.62) and Danny Briggs (LVD1: 8 wkts @ 36.50) provide the spin options, but I feel the departure of Chris Tremlett to Surrey has really dented the bowling potency.
Nottinghamshire will be missing Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad who are on World Cup duty, but I’m confident they have more in the locker in both the batting and bowling departments than Hampshire, and the south coast outfit will struggle to stay the pace with Nottinghamshire over the four days.
Pick: Nottinghamshire @ 1.60 with Betfair.