There was a moment of controversy late on the fourth day of Hampshire’s County Championship clash against Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl, with Australia opener Marcus Harris standing his ground, despite Liam Dawson claiming he had cleanly caught the ball at slip.
The game was an intriguing one, featuring a rare instance of a forfeit in a first-class game. With rain taking time out of the match, a result seemed a distant possibility at the start of day four, with Hampshire 223-7 in the first innings of the contest.
It took a special effort to drag the game into its second half, with Kyle Abbott taking 6-47 to skittle Leicestershire for 84. With Hampshire leading by 149, they were just short of being able to enforce the follow-on, so they took the brave decision to forfeit their second innings and dangle the carrot, setting the Foxes 150 to win in 22 overs.
However, the away side were not tempted to go for the runs, with Hassan Azad making a stoic 3 off 55 balls, and Abbott – whose six-for was his second in two matches – unable to resume his new-ball magic. The match petered out to a draw – Leicestershire’s third of the season and Hampshire’s second. Leicestershire are yet to win a match this season.
There was, however, one moment of heat, with Harris edging Keith Barker to Dawson at second slip, with the England all-rounder claiming a low catch, and the Australian standing his ground. Dawson walked past Harris, gesturing with the ball in his hand and seemingly communicating he had taken the catch cleanly. However, the umpires conferred and ruled that Harris should be given not out. He eventually finished unbeaten on 7 off 24 balls, and will be hoping a strong county stint improves his odds of a Test comeback on the best betting sites in Australia.
This isn’t the first contentious moment in a Hampshire-Leicestershire clash this season. In the first-round match between the two, the Grace Road side were incensed when Lewis McManus claimed a stumping, despite removing the bails with his left hand while holding the ball in his right.
That incident led to strong words from Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon, who said: “We have expressed our very strong views on this shocking incident to the match referee and we trust that an extremely strong stance will be taken to keep the integrity of our game.” McManus was later sanctioned by the ECB, receiving three disciplinary points for a Level Two offence.
Watch the moment below:
👀🤷@leicsccc 16-1 (133 behind, 9 overs remaining)
— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) May 22, 2021
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