Dramatic Finish Sees Hampshire Denied Last Gasp Victory

Hampshire came agonisingly close to securing an emphatic final session victory against Somerset on day four

Day One

Hampshire's Liam Dawson struck a half-century despite his side faltering on the opening day of their day-night Specsavers County Championship clash against Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.

Dawson (53) looked in good touch at the top of the order as the pink Duke ball made an appearance for the first time, however Somerset bowled with accuracy to reduce Hampshire to 211-9d, before reaching 18-0 at the close.

Lewis Gregory (3-51) along with Craig Overton, Tim Groenewald and Jack Leach, who took two wickets a piece, seemed to enjoy bowling with the pink ball – which was visibly difficult to get away for the batsmen throughout the day.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Hampshire began positively through openers Dawson and Jimmy Adams (47) with the duo looked at ease to reach the interval on 74-0. 

Somerset fought back following the restart as Overton broke the 84-run partnership between Adams and Dawson in the fourth over after the resumption, when he had the former caught at first slip by Hildreth.

Overton claimed his second just moments later but Dawson, who returned after his stint in the England team, continued to accumulate nicely as he remained resolute early in the session.

The all-rounder patiently reached a 132-ball half century before Gregory got one to keep low and nip back in to see the right-hander trapped LBW.

The loss of captain George Bailey soon after saw Hampshire fall from 84 without loss to 132-4, before James Vince (47) guided the hosts to the second interval without further loss on 157-4

The visitors again started brightly early on in the session, with three wickets falling, including that of Vince, for the addition of 18 runs.

Gregory then claimed two of this three scalps with the score on 198 and 199 but a flashing cut from Kyle Abbott (13*) secured a batting point before the declaration, allowing a short burst at away-side before the close of play.

Despite testing spells from both Gareth Berg and Abbott, Somerset openers Marcus Trescothick (10*) and Zimbabwean debutant Edward Byrom (1*) saw out the remaining overs under the floodlights without loss.

Day Two

Gareth Berg took the only wicket of the day as Hampshire were frustrated by the rain on day two of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.

Despite the overhead conditions, it was Hampshire that started the day brightly as Berg (1-14) removed the off-stump of Marcus Trescothick (13) in just his second over of the day to reduce Somerset to 25-1.

Berg, along with fellow opening bowler Kyle Abbott, continued to bowl with discipline as the visitors found it difficult to score runs at any significant rate with the pink Duke ball.

Brad Wheal then came on to bowl as Hampshire looked for more wickets, but Edward Byrom (13*) and Adam Hose (9*) guided the visitors to 43-1 before rain stopped play an hour into the day.

Hampshire will be hoping for better fortune with the weather on day three, which begins at 2pm tomorrow afternoon.

Day Three

Ian Holland took four wickets as Hampshire sensationally fought back on a rain-affected day three of their day-night Specsavers County Championship fixture against Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.

Holland (4-16) bowled superbly with the new pink ball and helped turn the game on its head, as Somerset lost four wickets for just nine runs in a superb six-over spell.

Gareth Berg (3-26) then took two wickets in consecutive overs as Somerset collapsed from 102-1 to 135-8 with Hampshire firmly in control before the rain returned and brought an end to a promising day for the hosts.

After torrential rain through the night and in the morning, play eventually got underway at 5:20pm, with the visitors resuming on 43-1.

Debutant Edward Byrom (43) and Adam Hose got their side off to a strong start, scoring at an aggressive rate of over four runs per over as the Hampshire bowlers took time to find their rhythm.

The pair made batting look comfortable in the overhead conditions, with ten boundaries between them as Somerset moved past 100 and into a potentially strong position.

However, Holland broke their 77-run partnership with a wicket in his very first over when Byrom chipped it straight to George Bailey on the off-side as he was denied his maiden first-class half-century.

Holland then removed James Hildreth (2) in his next over, as Hampshire began to swing the momentum back in their favour.

Tom Abell (0) and Steven Davies (0) were then both caught behind by Lewis McManus in Holland’s fourth over, as the floodgates began to open under the floodlights.

The seamer’s devastating spell saw the visitors collapse from 102-1 to 110-5 in the space of six overs.

Hose looked to rebuild the innings alongside Lewis Gregory (8) as Somerset moved onto 126-5, but Holland could not be kept out of the game, as his throw ran out the latter with the visitors soon finding themselves in further trouble.

Berg returned to the attack and with the very first ball of his spell, the all-rounder picked up the crucial wicket of Hose (48), who fell short of his half-century.

The right-armer then picked up another wicket with the first ball of his next over, Craig Overton (4) chipping the ball straight to Jimmy Adams at mid-wicket as Somerset suffered another collapse.

The visitors fell from 126-5 to 135-8, as Overton’s wicket brought the end to a brilliant session for Hampshire, with seven wickets falling for just 33 runs to see the hosts seize control of the contest.

The rain then returned during the interval to ensure no further play was possible, but with the weather set to be cloudy but dry on day four, it sets up an intriguing final day in this contest.

Day Four

A dramatic finish to the final day of Hampshire's Specsavers County Championship clash against Somerset saw the hosts come agonisingly close to securing an emphatic victory in the final session at The Ageas Bowl.

After quickly bowling Somerset out for 147 in their first-innings, Hampshire reached 96-5 before the rain fell, which allowed Hampshire to declare and set their opponents 161 to win off 31 overs.

Berg (3-17) and the Hampshire bowlers toiled away as Somerset collapsed to 84-8, but Josh Davey (4*) and Craig Overton (2*) survived for the final few overs as George Bailey's side were denied the win.

Somerset began the day on 135-8, and Hampshire made quick progress as Liam Dawson (1-30) dismissed Josh Davey (5) in his very first over of the day.

Gareth Berg (4-28) then wrapped up the innings moments later as Hampshire dismissed Somerset to hold a first innings lead of 64 runs.

The home-side began cautiously to start in their second innings, with Dawson and Jimmy Adams (9) safely guiding the hosts to 22-0 off the opening ten overs.

Adams was then run out looking for a third run moments later, before Dawson (20) was bowled by Tim Groenewald to leave Hampshire on 31-2.

Rilee Rossouw (22) looked to score quickly either side of the interval, taking the score from 38-2 to 64-2 in the space of less than three overs as their lead went into three figures.

However, his innings was ended when he edged to James Hildreth at slip, who took a smart catch low to his right.

Three wickets then fell in quick succession to see the total reach 79-5, a lead of 143 runs.

Sean Ervine (11*) and Ian Holland (6*) started to rebuild the innings, with a cautious partnership of 17 runs before the rain once again arrived, in a game that was significantly affected by the weather, resulting in the Hampshire declaration.

The visitors opened with Steven Davies as they looked to chase down the total, but a phenomenal second over from Berg put Hampshire firmly in control.

The seamer dismissed Marcus Trescothick (4) after a brilliant diving catch from James Vince before he removed Adam Hose (0) just three balls later to reduce Somerset to 4-2.

Kyle Abbott (2-33) then cleaned up the stumps of Hildreth (10) as the visitors fell to 27-3 in the ninth over.

Davies and Edward Byrom (15) batted aggressively to put on a 41-run partnership in just under eight overs, but their stand was broken when Ian Holland (2-23) bowled the latter in just his second over.

Somerset were in disarray at 69-5 as Abell (0) top-edged a reverse-sweep straight to Rossouw as Dawson picked up another wicket.

The crucial scalp of Davies (47) followed when the opener hit it straight to Bailey at wide mid-off, which allowed Hampshire to increase the pressure with Somerset 79-6.

There was late drama with just five overs to go as Berg returned and ended the partnership, with just three runs coming off the proceeding eight overs at the crease together as the visitors limped to 82-7.

Abbott then picked up the crucial wicket of Groenewald (3) with just seven balls left to end his determined stay at the crease, leaving Somerset 84-8.

However, Davey and Overton dug in and their resistance ensured Hampshire fell just short of what would have been an incredible win.