For all the thrill and entertainment that limited-cricket offers, first-class cricket remains the epitome of excellence and the form of the game that youngsters aspire to play. Not only is first-class cricket a test of skill and temperament over the course of four-five days, but the fact that a team can go ahead and deny the other team a win even while not being in a position to win itself is the beauty of the red ball game.
One such game was played in the County Championship Division 1 between Yorkshire and Hampshire. While Yorkshire were close to winning on the final day having taken nine wickets with over 7 overs remaining in the day, the partnership between Kyle Abbott and Brad Wheal for the final wicket somehow made sure that Hampshire does not lose the match. They played out the remaining balls with utmost determination to frustrate the opposition and force the match into a draw.
Yorkshire were so desperate to win that with two overs to go, they placed all their fielders close to the bat to put pressure on the Hampshire tail-enders. However, they did not taste success. A picture from this particular incident has gone viral on the internet.
Talking about the match, Yorkshire made 254 runs batting first with Dom Bess top-scoring with 54. In response, Hampshire were bowled out for 163 with Ben Coad and Jordan Thompson being the pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 3 for 29 and 3 for 35 each. In the second innings, Gary Ballance's unbeaten hundred, coupled with Tom Kohler-Cadmore's 89 and George Hill's 55 helped Yorkshire score 312/6 before declaring their innings. This implied that they had set a target of 393 in the fourth innings for Hampshire.
However, despite Jordan Thompson's 4 for 18 and Matthew Fisher's 3 for 42 which reduced Hampshire to nine down in the 108th itself with a total of 115 overs to be bowled, the final partnership remained unbeaten to save the match for their team. Kyle Abbott remained unbeaten on 9 off 51 deliveries while Brad Wheal did not open his account but did not give away his wicket either for 22 balls which ensured a draw.