THE MOVE TO HAMPSHIRE
Finding a new home | 1996
Growing up in Perth, I captained the under 17s and under 19s at Western Australia and hoped to play for WA and try and play for Australia. It was Paul Terry who first got me over to Hampshire after he came over as player/coach of my club, Melville, in the 1995/96 season. He set me up with a club and got me involved in the 2nd XI. I had a season with Bournemouth and we won the league, I played a lot of 2nd XI games and did okay, and towards the end of the season I made my debut.
A HATFUL ON DEBUT
6-88 & 3-62 | Hampshire v Glamorgan, County Championship, Southampton, 1996
Hampshire back then weren’t the greatest team. At Northlands Road it was looking ominous again, they were 200 for none, Steve James and Hugh Morris were batting. I got James, then next ball got another wicket, but couldn’t get Matt Maynard out for the hat-trick. I went well from then on. The next morning I bowled the first over and the first ball I bowled Adrian Shaw nicked to first slip – dropped. The next ball he nicked to second slip and that was dropped as well! You’d take six wickets any day though…
3-28 & 73 | Hampshire v Lancashire, NatWest Trophy Semi-Final, Southampton, 1998
I was Man of the Match in the semi, but we lost the game. Playing on TV was fun though. I generally did okay on TV, still do! The 1998 season was the time when I felt like I was one of the key players in the first team. I really thought ‘I’m here now as a first-class cricketer, this is my time.’ I didn’t play the first Championship game of the season – they left me out. But after that I played every game in every form for the rest of the season, and that was the year that I got capped as well.
THE WARNE FACTOR
A career-changing influence | 2000-2007
The opportunity to play with Warnie was just amazing – not just for me but for the club. He definitely made me a better player, he made me think about the game and be a lot more professional than I was in the past, particularly when he came back as captain. I’m only a medium-pace bowler, but he was never just thinking about tying an end up. He was always trying to work a batsman out. I remember he came up to me once and said: ‘How are you trying to get this guy out?’ And I was like ‘Um… I wasn’t, I was just bowling.’ Just that question made me think about bowling in a different way. And if you look at my batting before 2004 and then after 2004 it’s just chalk and cheese. He turned me into a finisher, made me work out how to bat at the death. He was just a huge influence. He always talked me up too – but he meant what he said. He said ‘Dim, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think you were good enough – because it would make me look stupid, too, wouldn’t it?’
MAIDEN ROSE BOWL TON
104 | Hampshire v Worcestershire, County Championship, Southampton, 2001
It was the first hundred at The Rose Bowl. We were about 80-6 when I walked to the crease – it used to fly around a bit for the first few seasons. It was against a pretty decent attack – Andy Bichel was playing for them. For me, batting and scoring runs is much more satisfying than the wickets, scoring hundreds is much better than getting a five-fer. I couldn’t stop smiling for about three weeks after I got that hundred.
A TROPHY AT LAST
8 & 0-44 | Hampshire v Warwickshire, C&G Trophy Final, Lord’s, 2005
The first final I ever played in. To win the final was really great but just getting there was even more amazing. In the quarter-final we chased 350 against Surrey at The Oval. Shane Watson got an amazing 150 to win that game, it was just ridiculous, we had no right winning that game. It was huge for the county. I didn’t think a lot of the guys realised how big it was. I’d been there since 1996 and we hadn’t got to a final – hadn’t really got close to winning anything. After 10 years of playing to finally win one was brilliant. It was the biggest crowd I or a lot of the guys had ever played in front of. It seemed like there was about 100,000 there – the Hampshire support was incredible.
0-31 & 52 | England v India, Second ODI, Bristol, 2007
I’d been called up for the first time earlier that summer. I wasn’t expecting it – if you’d asked me a couple of years earlier I might have said: ‘Yeah, I think I’m close’ but by that time I was never expecting to get it. Then the last game I played before the famous five sixes at The Oval I got my first ODI fifty. We were chasing a decent score at Bristol, and ended about 16 or 17 short. I hit five sixes in that game too – it was sort of the start for me, where I thought: ‘I can actually bat at this level.’ I thought the bowling was going okay but I really wanted to get some runs.
36 & 2-55 | England v India, Sixth ODI, The Oval, 2007
This is the big one for me with England. When people talk to me about my career they always talk about the five sixes I hit off the last five balls of our innings here off Yuvraj Singh. But we actually lost the game in the end! We got a good score, but lost in the last over – it was a great game. Robin Uthappa played an unbelievable innings to get India over the line. Owais Shah was up the other end and he was on 107. First ball of the over I hit one to mid-wicket and turned down the single. I heard after that some of the guys in the dressing room weren’t too happy about it at the time, with a bloke on a hundred up the other end. But I’d just got to the crease, I was frustrated that I hadn’t whacked it – I was on the back-foot, it went straight to the guy and I thought: ‘I’m not running, give me another shot.’ It turned out okay in the end! People forget the next ball was actually caught and he rolled onto the boundary line. That knock was a great moment for me in my England career.
SILVERWARE AS SKIPPER
1-27 | Hampshire v Sussex, Friends Provident Trophy Final, Lord’s, 2009
It was amazing to lead the boys out at Lord’s. I know the club chooses the captain, but it was a great feeling among the group, and I could always sense that the boys loved me being the captain, we had a great time that year. To lift the trophy after beating our south coast rivals, I was speechless.
2-11 | Hampshire v Somerset, Friends Life t20 Semi-Final, Cardiff, 2012
For me, getting Marcus Trescothick out in the semi-final was just massive. I was up against it again with injury, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play. The phsyio said: ‘Either play Finals Day and don’t play again for the rest of the season, or don’t play and try and maybe get fit for the CB40 Final.’ I said ‘I’m playing.’ I just had to play. Getting Trescothick early was so crucial. We’re good mates and I know he hates facing me, but don’t worry, he’s got hold of me quite a few times, too, I think we’re even. For me he’s still the best batsman in county cricket in all forms – to get him out was a huge start, and got us going.