Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mustard Angry as Victory Bid Fails

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mustard Angry as Victory Bid Fails

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

PHIL Mustard has criticised Hampshire for failing to play the game in the right spirit as they refused to set Durham a victory target on the last day of their LV County Championship game.

Durham had declared on 320-7 in their first innings, 101 runs behind Hampshire, in the hope of setting up an exciting final day's play.

The home side, though, refused to make any concessions and the game fizzled out yesterday before the rain came in the afternoon.

The draw was a more productive one for Hampshire who picked up more bonus points, but Durham would have also gone on to collect more with the bat had they not mistakingly believed both sides wanted to try and win the game.

Mustard said: "If we knew Hampshire were going to be a bit naughty about the situation we would have just carried on batting and hopefully got to four hundred and maximum batting bonus points.

"It is a little bit disappointing because I think the win would have been better for both sides with the way the division is.

"We wanted to try and set up the victory, they did not want to.

"They were happy to bat the game out for the draw and it is frustrating.

"We thought we would try and make a game of it, we had a few supporters down here and it would have been nice for them to see a proper game on the last day. It was a brave call to declare when we did.

It was a tough one. It was a quick scoring outfield, so it was difficult for them to know what sort of target to leave us.

"It is also a small ground and we have big hitters in the side, but we thought it would have meant the game was played in the right spirit. They felt differently."

Hampshire had given a clear signal as to their intentions when they sent in a nightwatchman on Thursday night rather than a specialist batsman.

James Tomlinson fell before the close, but the home side's defensive mindset continued for most of yesterday and there is a suspicion they were punishing Durham for refusing to declare at the Rose Bowl last summer when Will Smith was skipper. …

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