Hampshire Fall To Final Day Defeat Against Essex

Hampshire were defeated by 108 runs on the final day of Specsavers County Championship action against Essex

Day One

George Bailey struck a crucial half-century and Kyle Abbott claimed his 50th first-class wicket of the season as Hampshire seized control on day one of their County Championship clash with Essex at the Ageas Bowl.

Bailey (89) led by example by playing a crucial innings, whilst James Vince (60) also contributed with a stylish fifty as Hampshire were dismissed for 254 a few overs into the evening session.

In reply, Fidel Edwards (2-15) and Abbott (2-8) took two wickets apiece as the hosts restricted Essex to 33-5 at the close of play.

After being put into bat, Hampshire got off to a difficult start, losing opener Jimmy Adams in the second over of the day.

Joe Weatherley (8) was looking in good touch, but just two balls after crunching Jamie Porter to the boundary, the seamer grabbed his 65th wicket of the season, reducing the hosts to 14-2.

Vince and Tom Alsop led the Hampshire charge, with the former recording three boundaries in a single over from Sam Cook as the fifty partnership was brought up in just 9.1 overs.

The pair continued to take the momentum away from the visitors, but Hampshire fell to 85-3 when Alsop (34) was bowled by Porter (4-53).

Vince remained resolute, and moved to his second first-class half-century of the season shortly before his side moved to three figures minutes before the lunch interval.

However, five overs into the afternoon session he was adjudged to have feathered behind to James Foster looking to play a drive off the back foot, leaving Hampshire on 121-4.

Bailey and Sean Ervine added 23 runs in 3.3 overs, but their stand ended when the latter nudged a delivery from Simon Harmer (3-47) to Varun Chopra at first slip.

Bailey then moved to a well-worked half-century off 79 balls with a boundary off Ravi Bopara, whilst alongside Liam Dawson, the pair recorded the highest sixth wicket stand against Essex at the Ageas Bowl.

However, that partnership was ended in the first over of Porter’s third spell, with Dawson removed by a good delivery that swung away and clipped the top of off-stump.

Despite this, Bailey was going well alongside Ian Holland, and the right-hander brought up Hampshire’s 200 and subsequently the first bonus batting point of the afternoon with a reverse-sweep off Harmer.

Holland (11) was the next man to fall, chopping onto his stumps whilst looking to play a cut shot off Harmer as the hosts were in a precarious position on 214-7.

However, the Hampshire captain was edging towards three figures as the floodlights came on at the Ageas Bowl, but as wickets fell around him, Bailey went to accelerate to his century and was caught in the deep by Tom Westley off Neil Wagner (1-37).

Abbott made an immediate impact with the ball as Essex began their innings, clean bowling Nick Browne (0) with just his fifth ball as the away-side were reduced to 1-1.

The seamer then took his 50th first-class wicket of the season when he bowled Chopra (5) in his third over as his impressive form continued.

It was soon 12-3 when Fidel Edwards trapped Westley (6) in front to earn Hampshire their first bowling point, with the England batsman leaning over to play a shot into the leg-side.

Hampshire bowlers applied the pressure and it paid dividends when both Bopara (7) and Cook (0) were clean bowled by Berg and Edwards respectively as Essex slipped to 33-5 at stumps on day one.

Day Two

Kyle Abbott claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season as Hampshire pushed forward on day two of their Specsavers County Championship clash.

Abbott (6-20) tore through the visitors’ lower-order as Essex were dismissed for just 76 in their first innings, with Hampshire captain George Bailey then enforcing the follow-on.

In reply, an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 127 runs between Lawrence (78*) and Bopara (52*) gave Essex a lead of 30 as they moved to 208-3 at the close of play at the Ageas Bowl.

Hampshire continued from where they left off last night, with Abbott taking just four balls to make the breakthrough, sending Lawrence's (11) off-stump cartwheeling.

Ryan ten Doeschate (26) and James Foster hit a flurry of boundaries, but their  stand was ended when the former was pinned in front to give Abbott his fourth scalp, leaving Essex on 69-7.

Abbott then claimed five-wicket haul is style, trapping Simon Harmer (4) and Neil Wagner (0) in front in consecutive deliveries, with Essex 30 runs behind the follow-on target.

Ian Holland (1-20) picked up the final Essex wicket of Foster (9), as the visitors were dismissed for 76, their lowest total since 2014 and their lowest ever score at the Ageas Bowl.

The follow-on was enforced by the hosts, and the wickets continued to tumble, with Gareth Berg having Varun Chopra (5) caught behind in the third over of his spell.

Tom Westley and Nick Browne dug in and ensured there were no further alarms, guiding the visitors to 22-1 at lunch.

The Essex pair rode the early storm, and reaped the rewards with a flurry of boundaries early into the afternoon session, so Liam Dawson was introduced for the first time in the game.

The spinner took just 13 balls to make an impact, with the former Essex loanee trapping Browne (24) in front as the visitors moved onto 54-2 and still needing 124 runs to make Hampshire bat again.

Dan Lawrence and Westley (36) looked to attack Dawson, but that was the fate of their own downfall, but the latter offered the spinner a sharp return catch as Essex slipped to 81-3.

Lawrence and Ravi Bopara then came together, and frustrated the Hampshire bowlers with their resistance, whilst also moving their side into three figures, guiding their side to 118-3 at the interval.

Lawrence moved to a dogged half-century shortly afterwards, with the youngster bringing up his first fifty against Hampshire as Essex moved to within single figures of a lead.

The visitors ensured that Hampshire would bat again, as Lawrence's partnership with Bopara moved into three figures and the latter then moved to his half-century shortly after guiding his side beyond 200.

Bad light then brought a premature end to proceedings on the second day, but Hampshire will be hopeful of securing further Essex wickets tomorrow as they aim for a crucial victory.

Day Three

Fidel Edwards took two quick wickets to swing the momentum back in Hampshire’s favour after a rain-affected third day of their County Championship tie with Essex at the Ageas Bowl.

Edwards (2-46) bowled with pace and aggression to removeboth Ravi Bopara (57) and centurion Dan Lawrence (101) in the space of 16 deliveries as Essex moved from 228-3 to 243-5.

The hosts made a probing start to the day and quickly decided to take the new ball in bowler-friendly conditions on the south coast.

However, just eight overs were possible before light drizzle started falling, so the players left the field, with Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara adding 18 runs in the brief morning session.

The rain continued to fall into the afternoon session, but stopped at 4:30pm an after an initial inspection from the umpires, play was to resume at 5:20pm with 12 overs remaining in the day.

Edwards took just three balls to mark his mark, luring Bopara (57) into a drive, with the Essex batsman edging it to James Vince at second slip to end a 147-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Dan Lawrence (101) moved to a determined century, but lasted just two more deliveries before he gloved a vicious bouncer from Edwards to Tom Alsop behind the stumps, reducing Essex to 243-5.

The Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate (5*) and night-watchman Jamie Porter (1*) were the unbeaten batsman at the close with Essex 247-5 (69 runs ahead) at stumps.

Day Four

Hampshire fell to a difficult final day defeat against Essex as the visitors claimed victory by 108 runs in the penultimate Specsavers County Championship fixture of the season.

Hampshire, who had bowled Essex out for 76 in the first innings, were set 185 runs to win after dismissing Essex for 362 in their second-innings.

Hampshire’s pursuit got off to a difficult start as Sam Cook, who finished with his first five-wicket haul for Essex, and Jamie Porter combined to take the first six wickets as the hosts stumbled to 29-6 before Neil Wagner and Simon Harmer entered to attack to take two scalps apiece and dismiss Hampshire for 76.

Starting the day just 69 runs ahead, Essex saw skipper Ryan ten Doeschate departed just six balls into the day as Fidel Edwards (3-73) continued where he had left off on the previous evening by striking him on the pads.

Three balls into the next over Kyle Abbott (2-88) then produced a stunning in-swinging yorker to cartwheel night watchman Jamie Porter’s middle stump.

Ian Holland (1-33) grabbed the eighth Essex wicket by finding the edge of Simon Harmer’s dangling bat but James Foster and Neil Wagner then put on a useful 82-run stand.

New Zealander Wagner in particular swung his bat with gusto to find himself reaching an entertaining 44 – before one shot too many saw him caught on the mid-wicket boundary.

Foster was the last man to fall as he was dismissed LBW at the hands of Abbott – his eighth wicket of the match - as the home-side were all-out on the stroke of lunch.

Hampshire’s chasing effort began in testing conditions, and the home-side lost early wickets with Cook striking in his first over.

Cook continued to put the ball in promising areas and alongside Jamie Porter, the seam duo caused Hampshire to lose three wickets without score at 12-4.

Porter picked up his 70th scalp of the season, before Cook picked up his fourth of the innings with the total 29-6.

Off spinner Simon Harmer entered the attack in the 21st over and struck with his first delivery with a vicious soff-break before Wagner then grabbed two wickets.

With Ian Holland unbeaten on 16, Cook completed the innings as Fidel Edwards edged behind to see Essex seize the fourth-day victory.