White hails fightback as Hampshire hit summit
Craig White saluted Hampshire's comeback at Somerset as they hit the County Championship summit.
After the Ageas Bowl outfit were shot out for just 162 on the opening day at Taunton, they fought back in style to claim a 90-run triumph.
Slow left-armer Liam Dawson took eight for 129 in the match, while leg-spinner Mason Crane weighed in with five for 40 in Somerset’s second innings to ensure the hosts got nowhere near the victory target of 259.
Hampshire’s success propelled them to the top of the division one table, albeit until the match between Essex and Surrey is decided on Monday.
And White was delighted to see his side get back on track in the first-class game.
The first-team coach said; ‘It was a great comeback and we are obviously delighted to have won.
‘We had a blip last week at Essex but it was always going to be about how we responded to that.
‘We felt that the first partnership for Somerset was key.
‘If we broke that pair up, we could look at chipping away after that.
‘We did exactly that and we bowled really well.
‘I felt the bowlers showed brilliant discipline and a great first session was what we needed.’
Dawson (four for 66) and Crane got all but one of the Somerset wickets to fall on the final day – with the exception of Dean Elgar, who helped himself to a second half century of the game.
Having begun the day needing a further 220 runs to win and with all 10 second innings wickets in tact, they slipped from 58 without loss to 169 all out in 53.3 overs.
Somerset lost six wickets in the first session as Dawson, in particular, bowled with purpose and accuracy.
Marcus Trescothick (34) looked in decent touch until he nicked a Dawson delivery to Lewis McManus.
Wickets then tumbled at regular intervals as Hampshire, for the first time in the game, took control.
Somerset skipper Tom Abell departed at 70 for two – once again off the bowling of Dawson – before Crane beat James Hildreth’s defence.
Steven Davies was trapped leg before wicket by the increasingly effective Dawson and though Elgar, who passed 50 off 85 balls, batted well, both he and Peter Trego were out before lunch.
Trego was run out after Elgar turned down a single. Then the South African was bowled by a Crane delivery that crept beneath his bat.
Lewis Gregory (25) offered a little resistance after lunch but with Craig Overton and Jack Leach departing in quick succession to Crane, Somerset were soon staring down the barrel.
Gregory was then trapped in front by Dawson, leaving Crane to wrap up the win – and a second five-wicket haul of his first-class career – by dismissing Jamie Overton.
Warwickshire visit the Ageas Bowl on Friday (11am).