Hampshire: Abbott proves dab hand as duo miss out on tons

Kyle Abbott does the 'dab' as he celebrates his half century. Picture: Neil Marshall
Kyle Abbott does the 'dab' as he celebrates his half century. Picture: Neil Marshall
Rhidian Chapman. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170744-1)

Crucial Dons win can inspire survival charge

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Heroics from Rilee Rossouw helped Hampshire soar to a first-innings lead of 82 on day three of their County Championship division one clash with Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl.

The South African shrugged off a chipped bone in his finger to hit 99 before he was last man out – run out – with the score on 438.

Having picked up the injury taking a catch on day one, Rossouw struck 15 fours and a six in his 185-ball knock which put Hampshire in command of the game.

Middlesex reached 111 for four by stumps, giving them a lead of 29 runs going into the final day.

Michael Carberry had earlier fallen two short of a much-deserved century but the hosts enjoyed a run-filled morning.

Carberry resumed on 84 and remained watchful as he tip-toed towards a first Championship ton since May last season – prior to his cancer diagnosis.

But on 98, a few balls after edging a four through the slips, he swiped at a Tim Murtagh delivery and was caught behind.

In his place, Kyle Abbott impressed.

The South African was sent in the previous evening as a night-watchman but showed his staying power to reach his maiden Hampshire half-century.

A mixture of driving and dabbing to third man saw Abbott raise his bat after 77 deliveries.

He shared a stand of 80 with fellow Kolpak recruit Rossouw before departing for 56.

Rossouw then bravely took up the charge, finding support in the shape of Gareth Berg as Hampshire eased past Middlesex’s first-innings total of 356.

The pair added 86 runs, smashing three huge sixes as the hosts soared beyond 400.

Berg was finally dismissed for a 51-ball 43, splicing a return catch to Dawid Malan with the score on 432.

The part-time leg-spinner then had Brad Wheal caught behind first ball as Middlesex looked to wrap up the innings quickly.

Fidel Edwards, accompanied by a runner, joined Rossouw in a bid to help the South African to three figures.

But their efforts failed when Rossouw ran himself out – attempting a second.

Abbott then ripped through Sam Robson with a beauty to give Hampshire hope of forcing a victory.

He then accounted for Nick Gubbins with a pearler before Sean Ervine dropped a tough chance at first slip off Stevie Eskinazi.

Abbott (three for 24) did get his man before the close, though.