Stand-in skipper Abbott a ‘proud man’ as Hampshire force Surrey to follow on at The Ageas Bowl

Hampshire will hope rain can stay away from The Ageas Bowl on day four of the LV = County Championship clash as they push for a crucial victory over Surrey.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 7:47 pm
Keith Barker took 4-24 as Surrey were skittled for 72 in their first innings at The Ageas Bowl
Keith Barker took 4-24 as Surrey were skittled for 72 in their first innings at The Ageas Bowl

Showers over West End kept the players off the field until 5pm but Surrey who resumed on 42/4, ended a truncated day on 6-2 - having followed-on after being remarkably skittled for 72 in response to Hampshire's 488.

The visitors trail by a sensational 410 runs after the Hampshire bowlers ran amok with Brad Wheal striking with the last ball of the day to dismiss England opener Rory Burns for a duck, writes IAN McCULLOUGH.

That was after Keith Barker had dismissed former Test batsman Mark Stoneman - leaving nightwatchman Amar Virdi at the crease when play resumes on Wednesday and Hampshire well on course.

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Two scheduled restarts had earlier been scuppered due to brief but heavy downpours that drenched the outfield.

But Hampshire more than made up for that lost time as Surrey lost six wickets for 30 runs in just under an hour and were immediately sent back into bat again by stand-in skipper Kyle Abbott.

The hosts will be without captain James Vince for the rest of the match after he and Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks were sent to Cardiff for England's makeshift ODI squad against Pakistan owing to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Vince has been replaced by 18-year-old batting prodigy Tom Prest who makes his first-class debut.

Abbott struck in the fifth over after the restart with a ball that nipped back and pinned debutant Ben Geddes, who replaced Jacks, on his crease to be lbw for four.

One-time Hampshire overseas signing Hashim Amla, a double centurion when the sides met at the Kia Oval in May, then fell to a peach of a delivery from Barker (4-24) that uprooted his leg stump with the former South Africa Test ace top scoring with 29.

Jordan Clark and Rikki Clarke were both dismissed cheaply by Wheal with Abbott striking again to trap Jamie Overton lbw for four.

Abbott (3-31) then wrapped up the innings when he diverted a Kyle Jamieson shot onto the stumps of Virdi, leaving Surrey well short of a batting point.

Victory for Hampshire, who sit third in Group Two will greatly enhance their hopes of a top-two finish ahead next week's meeting with second-placed Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Hampshire stand-in skipper Abbott daid: ‘When we went out there this afternoon I asked the guys for a huge effort in a short amount of time and that is what they gave us on a disrupted day.

‘It's never easy to come out so late in the day and ask for performances but we knew it was going to be worse for them to bat.

‘I am incredibly proud of the boys to get eight wickets in quick time.

‘We would have been happy to have them eight down with two to get tomorrow. But to have them two down with two of their big three out - we couldn't have scripted it better.’

*Gloucestershire took full control of their Championship clash as Middlesex suffered a batting collapse on day two at Cheltenham.

Group Two’s bottom team appeared steady at 76-2 replying to 248 just before lunch, but then lost eight wickets for 25 runs to be dismissed for 101.

James Bracey made 88 as Gloucestershire reached stumps 198-6 and with a lead of 345.

Middlesex have endured some tough days this season but their collapse in just 10.2 overs must rank as the most desperate.

Gloucestershire were without David Payne, who was called up to England’s new one-day international squad, but it mattered not as Matt Taylor claimed 4-19 – his best return of the season – and 21-year-old Tom Price 3-29 in just his second first-class match.