Kyle Abbott produced the best County Championship figures for three years with a spellbinding nine-for before James Vince struck his first red-ball century of the season to end Somerset’s hopes of winning the title this week.
The South African bagged nine for 40 in three scintillating spells of seam bowling to roll Somerset over for 142.
He had started with two wickets on a gloomy first evening before taking five in the morning and wrapped up the tail after lunch – with Fidel Edwards preventing him from a 10-fer.
That gave Hampshire a first-innings lead of 54, before they collapsed to 10 for three and 45 for six, but Vince played a masterful innings to seemingly bat the visitors out the game.
Somerset ended the day trailing by 230 runs.
With his third ball of the morning Abbott jagged one back to hit Tom Abell’s off stump.
Edwards struck Tom Banton on the hand before luring him into edging behind with another short-pitched ball the next delivery.
From then on it was vintage Abbott; James Hildreth pushed behind and George Bartlett and Lewis Gregory were lbw to in-seamers.
Craig Overton had his stumps demolished, Dom Bess, who had added 76 with Roelof van der Merwe, scooped to square leg and Josh Davey swiped outside his off stump – Abbott’s figures the best at the Ageas Bowl and the sixth best first class figures for the county.
Despite being bowled out for 142, Somerset hit back in style as Josh Davey had Ian Holland caught at second slip by Vijay and Tom Alsop lifting to mid-wicket.
Gregory had Felix Organ prodding behind to a ball which held its line before Sam Northeast and Liam Dawson were lbw to Overton
At 45 for six, and Aneurin Donald out after he was bowled while withdrawing his bat, Hampshire appeared well short of setting Somerset a total.
But Vince dug in, taking 23 balls to get off the mark, before he rode through the gears and made batting look easy.
Lewis McManus and Keith Barker came and went, lbw to van der Merwe and Abell respectively, but Vince accelerated – reaching fifty in 78 balls with a pulled four.
Vince cruised to a 136-ball hundred, which comprised 14 boundaries, ending the day unbeaten on 102 having added 73 for the ninth wicket with Abbott.
‘I didn’t expect that when I woke up this morning!’ quipped Abbott.
‘It was nice to get a couple early and then got on a little bit of a roll and it has got us into a nice position.
‘It looked like we were looking down the barrel but the captain (Vince) came out and played an incredible knock.
‘We are almost close to a winning total out there now.’