Hampshire routed for second time in eight days as 15 wickets tumble on day one of Championship clash with Somerset

Hampshire recorded their fourth lowest first class total since 1982 when they were routed for 79 on the opening day of their County Championship clash with Somerset.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7:40 pm
Hampshire's Kyle Abbott appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Lewis Goldsworthy. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images.

Just eight days after they were skittled for 92 in the first innings at Surrey, James Vince’s men collapsed again - this time recording their second lowest team total at The Ageas Bowl, writes IAIN McCULLOUGH.

Though Hampshire hit back with the ball, a fighting half-century from skipper Tom Abell helped Somerset build a 63-run lead on an eventful opening day that saw 15 wickets fall.

Abell was unbeaten on 52 - guiding his side to 142-5 - after Hampshire were rushed out after being inserted on a spicy pitch in chilly and cloudy conditions.

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Lewis Gregory was the pick of the Somerset attack, taking 4-26, as the hosts were dismissed inside 41 overs less than an hour after lunch.

It was the first time since 1969 Hampshire had posted back-to-back sub-100 first innings totals following their capitulation at The Oval.

The home side started the day in third place in Group Two - one spot behind Somerset - and did well to only lose the in-form Ian Holland inside the opening hour.

Holland departed for four when Gregory found the outside edge and Craig Overton took the catch at slip.

But the second hour of the day proved to be a disaster for Hampshire as five wickets fell for 16 runs inside 11 overs with Tom Alsop, Sam Northeast, James Vince and Liam Dawson all posting single-figure scores.

Opener Joe Weatherley top-scored for his side with a scratchy 20 but was guilty of running out Northeast for just four after he took a risky single and George Bartlett hit the stumps with a direct hit from cover.

Gregory mopped up the tail 50 minutes after the lunch having received excellent support from the admirable Overton and Josh Davey who each picked up two wickets.

In all, Hampshire have scored just 350 runs in losing their last 30 Championship wickets - averaging just 11.6 per wicket during that time. In contrast, they had scored 612-5 in their opening innings of the season against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The overhead conditions continued to favour the seamers in the afternoon session and Somerset fell to 11-2 inside four overs when new-ball pairing Keith Barker and Mohammad Abass dismissed Tom Lammonby and Eddie Byron cheaply.

Kyle Abbott then trapped James Hildreth lbw for 14 before Abell and Bartlett posted the first 50 partnership of the match following a short rain delay.

The 54-run stand was broken by Abbott who tempted Bartlett, who had played well for his 27, into playing at a rising delivery and Dawson snared a high catch at second slip.

But Abell and Lewis Goldsworthy held firm against some top-class bowling until the penultimate over of the day when Holland beat the latter’s defences with a full-length ball that clattered into the stumps.

But Holland then went from hero to villain when he grassed a regulation catch off nightwatchman Jack Leach who'd edged Barker to third slip.

Hampshire’s horror batting shows since 1982 …

V Nottinghamshire (Trent Bridge, May 1982)

Routed for 70 in their first innings, Hampshire fared even worse in their second - skittled for just 56 to lose by 272 runs.

New Zealand great Richard Hadlee bagged 7-25 in the first innings, with ex-England seamer Mike Hendrick (5-21) and Kevin Saxelby (4-18) doing the damage in the second.

Gordon Greenidge retired hurt on just three in the first innings and batted at No 5 in the second, while Notts’ Basher Hassan also retired hurt in his side’s second innings.

V Kent (Canterbury, August 1992)

Martin McCague ran through Hampshire’s line-up in their second innings.

The Irish-born seamer bagged 8-26 as the visitors - who had posted 288 in their first innings - were all out for 70.

Opener Sean Morris (0) and No 3 Kevan James (0) were early victims and Portsmouth-born Jon Ayling (20) top scored. Hampshire ended up losing by nine wickets.

V Sussex (Southampton, August 1999)

In a remarkable Championship encounter, James Kirtley bagged 7-21 as Hampshire - replying to the visitors’ 375 total - were rolled over for 76. Asked to follow on, though, they avoided defeat by posting a massive 570-6 declared. Will Kendall hit a career best 201 and wicket-keeper Adi Aymes made 111. Giles White (77) and Robin Smith (66) also hit half-centuries.

V Essex (Ageas Bowl, September 2017)

In one of the most remarkable Championship games in Hampshire’s history, they lost to Essex by 108 runs after asking the champions to follow on.

Replying to Hampshire’s 254, Kyle Abbott took 6-20 as Essex were skittled for 76. But after posting 362 second time around, it was then the visitors’ turn to dismiss Hampshire for 76. Sam Cook claimed 5-18 as Hampshire sank to 37-7, with No 8 Ian Holland (16 not out) top scoring.