Abbott puts champions to the sword

Kyle Abbott celebrates a wicket today against champions Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall
Kyle Abbott celebrates a wicket today against champions Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall
Fidel Edwards bowled a six over stint of two for 15 Picture: Neil Marshall

Edwards doubles up to leave Hampshire in the hunt

Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp

Bowlers put Hampshire in control of Essex clash

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KYLE Abbott ripped through Essex to bowl the county champions out for 76 as Hampshire appeared to be strolling towards an innings victory at the Ageas Bowl.

And the South African fast bowler spoke of his delight as he ended with figures of six for 20, with Essex collapsing to their lowest score of the season.

Batsmen Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara helped Essex reach parity, having been made to follow on, with patient half centuries – as the visitors lead Hampshire by 30 runs at the end of day two.

But it was all about Abbott’s performance, although the 30-year-old felt he has room for improvement.

He said: ‘It was great to get out this morning and wrap it all up and to contribute for a 76 all out is pretty cool.

‘There was a bit of discussion about the follow on but we felt we had them in such a good position that we had to go again.

‘It was nice but it is amazing how things can change so quickly. I didn’t go as good after lunch, I felt I lost a bit of rhythm. The pitch got a little bit easier to bat on as the day went on and the ball softened up.

‘We have been told there were 45 plays and misses between Lawrence and Bopara so hopefully they have used up all their luck for the rest of the batsmen to come. Now the new ball is just around the corner and hopefully those plays and misses will find an edge.’

- ALEX SMITH