On-song Adams ignites Hampshire promotion charge

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New Hampshire signing Sam Northeast  Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Hampshire head to Northeast for success

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Jimmy Adams was the star as Hampshire continued their County Championship promotion push with an eight-wicket victory over Northamptonshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The skipper fired a superb 149 as the Royals moved within nine points of division two leaders Derbyshire.

After declaring on 245 for eight, Adams’ side were set a target of 326 to win on the final day.

And they scored at nearly five runs an over to get there, with the skipper backed up by Neil McKenzie (76) and Simon Katich (61 not out).

Adams was thrilled with the triumph and his own display at the crease.

‘I’m delighted on a personal front, with the result and my performance in it,’ said the left-hander.

‘Having been behind for the first three days, suddenly we’ve won the game and put ourselves in a great position.

‘We showed what we’re capable of.’

Victory took Hampshire 10 points clear in second spot, ahead of Yorkshire.

With Northants resuming the day on 176 for five, Chris Wood quickly bowled James Middlebrook before David Balcombe had David Murphy caught by McKenzie for just one.

But Alex Wakely (96) and David Willey (31 not out) helped the visitors build a total they believed to be defendable.

When the former was caught by Liam Dawson off Kabir Ali, four short of his century, captain Andrew Hall called his men in ahead of lunch, giving the hosts a target of more than 300 to win, in a minimum of 72 overs.

But Adams and McKenzie made light work of the task in hand, putting on 150 for the first wicket before the latter was caught behind off Luke Evans.

Katich picked up where the South African had left off, sharing 127 with the still unbeaten Adams to put Hampshire in command.

Evans had the skipper caught one short of 150 but Dawson hit 27 not out to wrap things up with 10 balls to spare, leaving the Royals in a strong position with three games of the season remaining.