CricketLiam Dawson’s Heroics Seal Thumping Victory for Hampshire
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In a remarkable display of all-round excellence, Liam Dawson etched his name in Hampshire cricketing history by becoming only the fourth player for the county to score a century and take 10 wickets in a match. Dawson’s outstanding performance played a pivotal role in Hampshire’s resounding County Championship win over Middlesex, securing career-best match figures in the process.

The talented all-rounder had already made a significant impact with the bat, scoring a magnificent 141 in Hampshire’s sole innings. However, he wasn’t content with just one outstanding contribution to the match. Dawson continued his heroics with the ball, picking up figures of 6-90 in Middlesex’s second innings, adding to his impressive 6-40 in the first innings.

His exceptional match figures of 12-130 propelled him into an exclusive Hampshire club, alongside 19th-century players Arthur Ridley and Francis Lacey, as well as Charlie Llewellyn in 1901. Notably, it had been nine years since the last player achieved this feat in the Championship, with Worcestershire’s Jack Shantry being the previous record holder.

Dawson’s remarkable performance not only sealed the victory for Hampshire but also propelled them further into the title race. Sitting behind leaders Surrey and Essex, this win keeps Hampshire in contention for the coveted County Championship title. Moreover, Dawson’s exceptional display undoubtedly boosts his credentials for selection in the Ashes series.

The victory against Middlesex marked Hampshire’s fourth triumph of the season, earning them a valuable 21 points. Meanwhile, Middlesex’s struggles continued as they looked destined for relegation, managing to salvage only a solitary point from the encounter.

Middlesex’s second innings began with the task of erasing a 269-run deficit. However, their hopes were quickly dashed as they collapsed under Dawson’s relentless bowling attack. Introduced in the 11th over, Dawson struck in the 13th to trigger a rapid downfall.

Middlesex went from 40-0 to 51-4 in just 21 balls, with Dawson inducing key wickets and wreaking havoc. Sam Robson fell victim to a leading edge, while Mark Stoneman succumbed to a reverse sweep off his glove. Pieter Malan and Max Holden also failed to withstand Dawson’s brilliance, with Malan toeing one to mid-off and Holden edging to first slip.

Ryan Higgins showed resilience, attempting to lift his side from the abyss with an aggressive approach. His eight boundaries and a partnership of 78 runs with John Simpson provided a glimmer of hope. However, Dawson’s persistence paid off as he dismissed Higgins for 54, caught at first slip.

Dawson secured his second 10-wicket haul in a match when he claimed the wicket of Luke Hollman, expertly caught by Mohammad Abbas at wide mid-off. This feat replicated Dawson’s achievement from last season, where he had taken 10 wickets for 139 runs against Essex. With 20 wickets this season at an impressive average of 17.75, Dawson’s performance has surpassed even his own high standards.

Despite John Simpson and Josh De Caires offering some resistance, it was Nick Gubbins’ unlikely leg-spin that produced a delivery reminiscent of the legendary Shane Warne, dismantling De Caires’ stumps. Gubbins’ maiden Championship wicket added another highlight to an enthralling match.

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Hampshire’s victory was further confirmed as Simpson fell for 49, edging James Fuller behind. Dawson provided the finishing touch, dismissing Toby Roland-Jones, who was trapped leg-before-wicket, while Tom Helm was stumped.

Dawson’s outstanding six-wicket haul was the third consecutive occasion he achieved this feat at the Ageas Bowl, surpassing his previous best of five wickets in an innings at his home ground.