Hampshire suffer heavy defeat to Essex after batting collapse on day two
Hampshire were crushed by Simon Harmer who took 12 wickets in the match as Essex completed a thumping win by an innings and eight runs on day two of the County Championship clash.
It was a dramatic conclusion after the visitors had enjoyed a good morning with the ball, writes Alex Smith.
They took seven wickets for just 67 runs to dismiss Essex.
But then with the bat they collapsed to just 88 all out and were beaten inside five sessions.
Harmer claimed match figures of 12 for 61 as Hampshire fell for 118 then 88.
He overwhelmed Hampshire once again by snatching seven for 38 on day two.
Essex had begun the day on 147 for three but were themselves bowled out before lunch, as they lost seven wickets for 67 runs, before Hampshire were given a tricky three over spell before lunch.
Only 17 balls of the three overs were bowled, though, before Tom Alsop was lbw to Jamie Porter, and after lunch Hampshire collapsed in catastrophic style.
India Test star Ajinkya Rahane was caught behind for a duck for the second time in the match to the first ball of the resumption.
It was the first time he had been dismissed for a pair in first-class cricket in his career.
Off-spinner Harmer was then brought into the attack in the fourth over, originally to replace Sam Cook who was forced to walk off the ground with what appeared to be a back issue mid-way through his second over.
And he needed just five balls to have Sam Northeast stumped, the Hampshire stand-in captain losing his bearings after hitting into the ground.
Rilee Rossouw aggressively swiped to point and Aneurin Donald swept to mid-wicket – both caught by Beard.
South African Harmer then completed his second five-for in the match when James Fuller was lbw and Keith Barker edged to Alastair Cook at first slip in three balls – to leave Hampshire 32 for seven.
Opener Weatherley, who carried his bat for 29, and Abbott provided some respite with a 29-run stand for the eighth wicket, before the latter chipped to mid-off.
Harmer rounded off the victory as Mason Crane was caught in comedy style as Adam Wheater dropped the chance onto his own foot before kicking to Ryan ten Doeschate at short leg and Fidel Edwards was lbw.
Earlier, Essex batsmen Ravi Bopara and Dan Lawrence took their partnership to 105 runs, before the former was leg before to Fuller without playing a shot for a well-made 59.
Lawrence celebrated his second Championship half-century of the season from 108 deliveries before he was the first of Abbott’s four victims – as Hampshire began to assert huge pressure on the hosts.
Wheater, playing against his former county, and Harmer were Abbott’s next casualties as they were also struck on the pads in front.
Edwards grabbed two wickets in two balls as he knocked back Aaron Beard’s off stump with a yorker before ten Doeschate was caught behind by a full-length dive by Alsop.
Abbott ended the Essex innings when he had Sam Cook lbw – the seventh leg before of the innings, a Hampshire record – to end with figures of four for 54.
Essex, who have comfortably won all three of their Specsavers County Championship matches at home, move within seven points of Hampshire in second place in division one with a game in hand.