Kyle Abbott registered his best bowling figures of the season as Hampshire completed a 114 run victory over Worcestershire in the Specsavers County Championship relegation battle at Blackfinch New Road.
The South African paceman ended with 6-39 from 14 overs as Worcestershire, who resumed on 120-8, were dismissed for 133.
Abbott claimed one of the two remaining wickets to fall as he followed up yesterday’s first hat-trick of his career to finish with eight wickets in the game.
Hampshire’s third win of the season earned them 19 points and lifted them above Lancashire into fifth spot.
It enabled them to complete a double over their opponents and was the perfect response after last week’s hammering by an innings and 52 runs against current champions Essex at Chelmsford.
Their experienced international pace trio of Kyle Abbott, Dale Steyn and Fidel Edwards were a handful throughout for the home batsmen in seamer-friendly conditions.
Ball dominated bat throughout with the only half century of the game registered by Hampshire wicket-keeper Tom Alsop.
Whilst Hampshire have significantly boosted their hopes of survival, Worcestershire are now facing an uphill task to avoid an instant return to Division Two after back to back defeats.
They picked up only three bowling bonus points from this game and remain in bottom spot.
The challenge to survive does not get any easier as champions elect Surrey head to Blackfinch New Road next week ahead of a visit to Essex and the final game of the campaign at home to Yorkshire.
Worcestershire resumed on 120-8 with Ross Whiteley unbeaten on 37 and Wayne Parnell 17 not out.
A cover drive for four by Parnell against Steyn brought up the half century stand.
But Abbott’s first delivery of the day accounted for Whiteley who was beaten all ends up and bowled without addition to his overnight score.
Parnell and last man Dillon Pennington hung around for nine overs.
But it was Steyn who ended proceedings when Parnell on 26 nicked through to Jimmy Adams at second slip.
Kyle Abbott claimed a hat-trick as Hampshire closed in on victory in the Specsavers County Championship relegation battle with Worcestershire after 24 wickets fell on the second day at Blackfinch New Road.
The home side were set a 248 target on a bowler-friendly wicket and had collapsed to 120-8 by the close in their second innings.
The extra half hour was taken but Worcestershire hung on to extend the game into a third day after bad light had the final say.
Abbott had Joe Clarke (33) caught behind, bowled night-watchman Josh Tongue (0) and trapped Ed Barnard lbw (0) to complete his treble – the final three dismissals of an action-packed day.
The 31-year-old was the first Hampshire player to claim a hat-trick since Billy Taylor in 2006 and finished with figures of 10-1-35-5.
Abbott’s efforts put the icing on excellent bowling throughout the day from himself, Dale Steyn and Fidel Edwards which led to Worcestershire’s downfall.
It was just the tonic needed by the visitors after their innings and 52 runs setback against Essex at Chelmsford had sucked them back into the struggle to stay up.
Worcestershire are now facing a virtually impossible task tomorrow to avoid a second successive setback after Lancashire pulled off an unlikely win against the odds in last week’s meeting at Southport.
An indication of the dominance of ball over bat is that only one half century has been scored so far in the game by Hampshire keeper Tom Alsop in his side’s second innings.
Worcestershire resumed on 68-4 in their first innings this morning and were bowled out for 120 in just 16.2 more overs.
Ben Cox had a let off on two when Ian Holland at first slip failed to cling onto a chance offered off Steyn but it did not prove costly.
He added only four more before being caught behind by Tom Alsop off Fidel Edwards to start the procession of wickets during the day.
Skipper Brett D’Oliveira (15) edged Steyn to third slip and then in the same over Ed Barnard (0) fell victim to a fine low catch by keeper Alsop.
Ross Whiteley and Wayne Parnell briefly counter-attacked in adding 30 for the eighth wicket before the innings was wrapped up.
Whiteley (14) came down the wicket to Kyle Abbott and provided Alsop with another scalp and Tongue (4) was comprehensively bowled by Holland.
The innings ended when Dillon Pennington (1) was run out after a mix up with Parnell who remained undefeated on 21.
When Hampshire launched their reply Tongue struck in successive overs as debutant Oliver Soames (0) was bowled and Joe Weatherley (3) was held by Tom Fell at third slip.
It became 25-4 with James Vince (9) nicking Ed Barnard to second slip and Jimmy Adams (13) bowled by Pennington in successive overs.
But Alsop then steadied the ship, adding 44 with Sam Northeast and most crucially in tandem with Dawson.
Parnell dismissed both in successive overs with Dawson (39) caught at second slip and Alsop (64) yorked to the final ball before tea.
The South African also accounted for Steyn (4) to finish with 4-23 on his home Championship debut while Tongue ended with 4-38.
Wickets continued to tumble when Worcestershire began their pursuit of a 248 target with Steyn and Abbott ripping out the top order.
Daryl Mitchell departed to a first ball duck – caught at first slip off Abbott – and fellow opener Tom Fell (2) was bowled by Steyn.
Alex Milton (7) departed in the same fashion and it became 27-4 when D’Oliveira (2) was also bowled, by Abbott.
Edwards came into the attack and Cox (4) perished to a low catch by Alsop before Abbott took centre stage with his late hat-trick.
But Whiteley (37 not out) and Parnell (17 not out) added an unbroken 48 before light intervened.
Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard completed his fourth five wicket haul of the season before the Hampshire pace attack struck back in the Specsavers County Championship relegation clash at Blackfinch New Road.
Worcestershire's Barnard enjoyed a post lunch spell of 5-21 as Hampshire finished on 191 all-out in 57.3 overs.
But the home side struggled for runs and had been reduced to 68-4 before bad light intervened with 13.2 overs remaining.
There were only eight points between the two teams – lying in sixth and eighth spot respectively with Yorkshire sandwiched in between – going into the game.
Hampshire initially appeared to be making relatively serene progress after electing to bat in reaching 81-2 by lunch.
But then came the intervention into proceedings of Barnard who earned his first England Lions call-up this summer.
The 22-year-old was chiefly responsible for Hampshire being reduced from 83-2 to 126-8.
He bowled a deadly nine over spell which yielded a return of 5-21 – and overall figures of 6-50 from 16 overs.
Barnard now has taken 41 Championship wickets this season – only six short of his best haul in a campaign last summer.
Sam Northeast (48) led Hampshire for the innings before their pace attack of Dale Steyn, Fidel Edwards and Kyle Abbott in the final session posed problems in gloomy light.
Hampshire debutant Oliver Soames and Jimmy Adams added 59 for the second wicket after the early departure of Joe Weatherley (10) to Barnard.
Josh Tongue broke through on the stroke of lunch by trapping Adams lbw for 31 – and then Barnard took centre stage after the resumption.
Soames, having grafted 32 overs for 23 runs, drove hard at Barnard and nicked to Daryl Mitchell at second slip.
James Vince (10) then went after playing a similar shot with keeper Ben Cox snaffling the chance.
Dillon Pennington was next to strike as Tom Alsop pushed forward and gave Cox another catch.
But Barnard was soon back on centre stage with another trio of wickets.
Ian Holland (4) was pouched at second slip, Liam Dawson (4) drove to cover and former Worcestershire player Kyle Abbott (0) fell victim to a low return catch.
Northeast – a winter target for Worcestershire before he joined Hampshire – and Dale Steyn (25) added 42 for the ninth wicket.
Parnell, on his home Championship debut, ended the stand by dismissing South African compatriot Steyn (25) as Cox picked up his fourth catch.