Abbot inspires Hampshire win within two days

Hampshire bowler Kyle Abbott. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire bowler Kyle Abbott. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Kyle Abbott’s maiden Specsavers County Championship 10-wicket haul in a match set up Hampshire’s third win of the season – and all but end Somerset’s title charge.

Abbott backed up his five scalps on the first innings before celebrating six for 40 to bowl Somerset out for 116 and end the match with figures of 11 for 71.

Jimmy Adams then confirmed the victory, which eases Hampshire’s relegation fears, with a an unbeaten 25 – as the home side chased down 75 to win by six wickets.

Somerset will have to wait until the conclusion of Surrey's fixture with Worcestershire to find out if they are still in with a chance of lifting the Division One trophy this season.

Somerset needed just 10 balls to wrap up the Hampshire first innings, as Fidel Edwards chipped a simple caught and bowled back at Craig Overton.

That gave Hampshire a 42-run first-innings advantage, after 19 wickets had fallen on the first day – an Ageas Bowl record.

The conditions were still just as conducive for the fast bowlers, with grey clouds, a grass tinged pitch and the floodlights on.

Marcus Trescothick signed a new one-year extension to his Somerset contract to take him into his 43rd year last week.

And the veteran used all his 25 years’ experience with a dogged half century, which handed Hampshire a tough chasing task.

Trescothick watched from the non-striker’s end as his top order team-mates slipped to 20 for four, after an Abbott masterclass in seam bowling.

Ben Green was first to depart, to Abbott’s third delivery, as he was indecisive to a ball which nipped back.

Abbott found another delivery to jag back, with extra bounce, to catch the inside edge and fly through to Tom Alsop behind the stumps.

James Hildreth and Tom Abell were Abbott’s next victims, with the former pinned lbw and the latter castled.

But Trescothick continued in a watchful manner, copying Sam Northeast’s successful style which accumulated 53 on the first day.

He added 41 for the fifth wicket with Steven Davies as Abbott and Dale Steyn made way for change bowlers Edwards and Ian Holland.

But the Steyn and Abbott marriage returned to resume the wicket taking, with Davies caught at first slip off Steyn and Abbott bowling Lewis Gregory – to celebrate his second five-wicket haul of the match.  

Craig Overton was another prey of an Abbott angled in delivery as he flicked behind, where Alsop pulled off an exquisite flying catch to his right, before his brother Jamie slapped Steyn to Liam Dawson at point.

Yet Trescothick was still at the crease and turned his dial to stroke play during a 25-run stand with No.11 Josh Davey.

The former England opener bought up two landmarks with a pair of sixes – the first his 26,000th first-class run, the second to take him to a 122-ball half century.

He eventually departed to give Steyn, a fast bowler that had dismissed him twice in Test cricket, his 600th first-class wicket as he chopped on.

That set Hampshire 75 runs to win, but Craig Overton wasn’t going to make it easy for the hosts.

The right-arm fast bowler found opener Oli Soames tickling behind off his legs and then snared Joe Weatherley and James Vince within three balls.

Weatherley pushed behind before Vince completed his pair when he slashed to backward point – leaving Hampshire 21 for three and still needing 54.

Adams, along with Northeast, alleviated some of the pressure with a 25-run stand, but the nerves returned at the Ageas Bowl when the latter edged to second slip.

But Adams, who will retire at the end of the season, dragged his side across the line with Tom Alsop, at 4pm on the second day.

- ALEX SMITH