Abbott’s three-wicket burst gives Hampshire upper hand at Lord’s against Middlesex

Kyle Abbott’s three-wicket burst gave Hampshire the upper hand as they reduced Middlesex to 90-4 in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Lord’s.

By Community Sport Reporter
Thursday, 13th May 2021, 7:55 pm
Kyle Abbott took 3-21 when Hampshire's game against Middlesex at Lord's eventually got underway. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.
Kyle Abbott took 3-21 when Hampshire's game against Middlesex at Lord's eventually got underway. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.

Abbott, who had a spell at Middlesex in 2015, claimed a trio of scalps in quick succession – including a first-ball duck for home skipper Peter Handscomb – when play finally began at 4.15pm, following a lengthy rain delay.

Openers Sam Robson and Jack Davies provided Middlesex with a solid platform, sharing a partnership of 33 after James Vince won the toss and asked them to bat, writes BEN KOSKY.

But the Seaxes then slumped to 56-4 before Nick Gubbins and John Simpson steered them to stumps without further damage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Robson and Davies did well to see off the initial salvo from Keith Barker, who extracted plenty of bounce, and Mohammad Abbas – Middlesex’s nemesis with nine wickets when they crashed to a 249-run loss at the Ageas Bowl last month.

The Pakistan seamer, who bagged 6-11 in the first innings a few weeks ago including a hat-trick, beat the bat several times, but was unable to achieve a breakthrough in his opening spell and it took Hampshire until the 18th over to make inroads courtesy of Abbott.

Robson had already survived a sharp chance off the former South Africa seamer, carving a widish delivery towards point, where Tom Alsop, reaching above his head, could not cling on.

But Abbott got his man in his next over for 20, prodding forward to an outswinger and Liam Dawson scooped up the catch at second slip.

Davies – replacing the out-of-form Max Holden for only his second first-class appearance – showed plenty of promise in his innings of 24, compiled during more than an hour and a half at the crease.

The 21-year-old left-hander flicked Brad Wheal neatly off his pads to the boundary – but the next delivery proved to be his last, edging it to Dawson.

Handscomb’s dismal run of form continued – his first six innings for Middlesex have realised just 31, including three ducks – as he misjudged his first ball from Abbott, which clipped off stump.

Abbott then took out Robbie White’s off stump in more eye-catching fashion during his next over, but Gubbins – who got away with a couple of slashes through the slips – and Simpson saw Middlesex through to the close.

Abbott (3-21) said: ‘After winning the toss, you obviously want to make inroads, so we’re pretty happy.

‘The last two weeks have been a bit tough, although this is probably the best wicket out of the last three to bat on first.

‘There’s going to be some hard work still tomorrow and it’s up to us to take the six remaining wickets as quickly as possible. For the first time this season I felt I got some decent rhythm.

‘I’ve been fighting myself a bit – the body’s just getting used to these long spells again and long days in the field, which we’ve had over the last few weeks.

‘It’s nice to contribute and I thought Brad could have had three or four himself – he bowled incredibly well this evening, as did Barks (Keith Barker) and Mo.’