Hall’s good form continues in Hampshire stalemate

Andrew Hall hit his second century in as many County Championship outings

Andrew Hall hit his second century in as many County Championship outings

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Andrew Hall struck his second century in consecutive County Championship games 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 on an unbeaten 130 from 295 balls, as Northants eventually declared on 425-9, prompting the two captains to shake hands.

Wicketkeeper David Murphy also made a career-best 81 off 119 deliveries with James Tomlinson 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 159-5, 47 runs behind their opponents, with former South Africa all-rounder Hall resuming on 29 and James Middlebrook on eight.

Middlebrook, however, added just two to his overnight total before Tomlinson’s delivery crashed into his off stump in the fifth over of the day.

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

But Hall stuck around to complete a patient half-century from 116 deliveries as part of a 117-run partnership with Australian international Trent Copeland.

Copeland was given a second chance on 34 when he was dropped at second slip by Liam Dawson off David Balcombe before he raced to 50 off 63 balls.

The duo 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 on 63 from the third ball after lunch when he was trapped lbw by Danny Briggs before Hall completed his 14th century in first-class cricket off 209 balls.

He had now been joined at the crease by Murphy and he comfortably completed his first half-century of the season off 80 deliveries.

Northants resumed after tea on 390-8 with seeing out time the only priority, although Murphy did excel his previous best of 79, which he struck against Glamorgan in May 2011.

He finally perished when he launched Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams to Ervine at mid-on to break the partnership on 132.

The draw was then agreed 10 minutes later at 4:50pm, with Northants coming out of this contest with nine points and Hampshire six.