Fidel refuses to rule out Hampshire victory

Hampshire skipper James Vince. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire skipper James Vince. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Fidel Edwards has not ruled out a surprise bid for glory at Taunton.

Hampshire trail hosts Somerset by 97 runs going into the final day of their County Championship division one clash on Monday.

James Vince (63 not out) and Hashim Amla (86 not out) hauled the visitors up to 178 for two on Sunday – with an unbroken stand of 139.

The pair have given Hampshire hope of avoiding defeat in the clash after Somerset had rattled up a first-innings total of 506 – to lead by 275.

For Edwards, though, talk of getting ahead and putting the home side under pressure late in the day is not off the table.

The former West Indies fast bowler took two for 144 in 30 overs as Somerset piled on the runs.

He felt the absence of Kyle Abbott, who was injured on day two of the top-flight encounter.

Edwards said: ‘It was tough being without Kyle Abbott.

‘But I have put him in that position a few times with injuries, so perhaps it was payback time!

‘Somerset batted very, very well but James Vince and Hashim Amla have done a brilliant job for us.

‘More of the same on Monday could see anything happen.

‘Hopefully, we can build a lead and if that happens going into the last two hours of the game you never know.’

Securing a draw after such a large first-innings deficit will be the primary goal for Hampshire.

Vince’s men have lost two and drawn one since an opening-day victory over Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl.

They will be desperate to avoid a third defeat ahead of the start of the Royal London One-Day Cup next weekend.

Somerset, meanwhile, have their tails up after starting the season with three wins in four games.

Victory over Hampshire at Taunton would see them leapfrog Nottinghamshire at the top of the division one standings.

Dom Bess, who struck a superb 92 batting at number 10, is confident his side can press home their advantage.

And the 20-year-old former England under-19 international was pleased to show his quality with the bat for Somerset as he eyes more opportunities up the order.

The all-rounder added: ‘The new ball will be key in the morning.

‘There is still a bit in the pitch for the bowlers and if we can take an early wicket things will look different again.

‘We are still right in the game and I’m confident we can press home the advantage.

‘I’m delighted to have made my highest score for Somerset and wanted to prove a point about my batting, having gone in at number 10.

‘All the players in our lower order can bat, which is great for the team.

‘But I want to get as high in the order as I possibly can.’