Hall maintains fine batting form


Andrew Hall struck a century for the second successive LV= County Championship game as Division Two leaders Northamptonshire's clash with Hampshire predictably petered out into a draw.

Hall, who also made a ton against Leicestershire at Wantage Road two weeks ago, piled up an unbeaten 130 from 295 balls to help Northants to 425 for nine declared on the final day.

Wicketkeeper David Murphy also made a career-best 81 off 119 deliveries, while James Tomlinson was the pick of Hampshire's bowlers, taking 3-75 as his team-mates were made to toil in the field.

Northants began the day on 159 for five, 47 runs behind their opponents, with former South Africa all-rounder Hall resuming on 29 and James Middlebrook eight.

Middlebrook added just two to his overnight total before a delivery from Tomlinson crashed into his off stump.

Tomlinson struck again in his next over when David Willey edged to former Zimbabwe international Sean Ervine at first slip and registered a six-ball duck.

However, Hall stuck around to complete a patient fifty from 116 deliveries as part of a 117-run partnership with Australia international Trent Copeland.

Copeland, given a second chance on 34 when he was dropped at second slip by Liam Dawson off David Balcombe, brought up his half-century off just 63 balls.

He and Hall surpassed Northants' previous record eighth-wicket stand against Hampshire of 95, made between Nigel Felton and Winston Davis at Bournemouth in 1990.

Copeland eventually departed for 63 in the first over after lunch, lbw to Danny Briggs, but Hall held firm to score his 14th first-class hundred.

Before long, he had played his part in another record, his 132-run partnership with the fluent Murphy going well beyond Northants’ previous best for the ninth wicket against Hampshire.

After tea, Murphy was able to surpass the career-best 79 he made against Glamorgan in May 2011.

He eventually departed to the occasional bowling of Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams and the teams shook hands 10 minutes later, Northants taking nine points to their visitors’ six.

Hall maintains fine batting form www.northantscricket.com