16 Sep 2019 | Specsavers County Championship Division One 2019
Hampshire
142 all out
144 all out
Somerset
196 all out
226 all out
Hampshire win by 136 runs

Hampshire v Somerset - Match Report

A incredible record-breaking haul from Kyle Abbott saw Hampshire claim a dominant win against Somerset at the Ageas Bowl

Day One

Liam Dawson defiantly scored his first Specsavers County Championship century of the season as he led Hampshire's recovery on day one against Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.

All-rounder Dawson saved Hampshire from a tough first-innings total having arrived at the wicket with the hosts toiling on 18 for four.

The World Cup winner almost singled handily batted Hampshire into a strong position with his 103 from 156 balls, taking his side to 196 all out.

It was his eighth first-class hundred for Hampshire and first since notching 116 against Warwickshire in July 2016 – interestingly five of his tons for the county have now come in September.

After electing to bat first, Hampshire stumbled to 24 for five – with Lewis Gregory and Josh Davey sharing the five scalps.

It took just three deliveries for Gregory to make his first breakthrough, as Felix Organ edged to first slip while trying a back-foot drive.

Tom Alsop was bowled by a delightful delivery from Davey, which shaped in and then nipped away before Sam Northeast was brilliantly caught by Roelof van der Merwe at gully.

James Vince and Ian Holland also departed to Gregory, whose seven morning overs returned three for 24 before ending with an analysis of three for 63, the former while attempting a straight drive and the latter caught at second slip.

Aneurin Donald left Hampshire 57 for six when he was caught off Davey, before Lewis McManus departed soon after lunch when he was snaffled at point.

At 88 for seven, the home side were facing a sub-100 total but Dawson and Keith Barker put on 92 to even the game back up.

Dawson picked up on anything too straight to flick through the leg-side and he brought up his fifty, the sixth of his Championship season, with a pull to the boundary from 90 balls.

Dawson accelerated towards three figures with the only six of the day coming in the 53rd over with a powerful pull before reaching his century in 154 balls with a sumptuous straight drive.

Barker had supported him well with a well-made 40 from 76 balls before both departed in back-to-back overs.

Barker fell lbw to Dom Bess before Dawson edged Tom Abell behind – the Somerset skipper quickly wrapped up the innings two overs later when he bowled Fidel Edwards.

Somerset struggled against the moving new ball to end the day on 30 for two – with Kyle Abbott picking up both wickets. He removed Murali Vijay for a nine-ball duck before bowling Steve Davies to post two for one from six overs before a series of bad light interruptions eventually curtailed the day.

Day Two

Kyle Abbott produced the best Specsavers County Championship figures for three years with a spellbinding nine-for before James Vince struck his first red-ball century of the season to end Somerset’s hopes of winning the title this week.

Hampshire’s South African fast bowler Abbott took nine for 40 in three scintillating spells of seam bowling to roll Somerset over for 142.

He had started with two wickets on a gloomy first evening before taking five in the morning and wrapped up the tail after lunch – with Fidel Edwards preventing him from a 10-fer.

That gave Hampshire a first-innings lead of 54, before they collapsed to 10 for three and 45 for six, but Vince played a masterful innings to seemingly bat the visitors out the game.

Somerset, who can at best end the penultimate round of fixtures 23 points ahead of Essex, ended the day trailing by 230 runs.

Abbott had ended the first day with figures of two for one, having dismissed Murali Vijay and Steve Davies, but while the pitch remained green, dry and very quick, the overheads had altered from grey clouds to unblemished blue.

That would usually suggest batsman-friendly conditions, but with his third ball of the morning Abbott jagged one back to dump a leaving Tom Abell’s off stump.

Edwards, who provided plenty of testing deliveries of his own, struck Tom Banton on the hand before luring him into edging behind with another short-pitched ball the next delivery.

From then on it was vintage Abbott; James Hildreth pushed behind and George Bartlett and Lewis Gregory were was lbw to in-seamers.

Craig Overton had his stumps demolished, Dom Bess, who had added 76 with Roelof van der Merwe, scooped to square leg and Josh Davey swiped outside his off stump – the figures the best at the Ageas Bowl and sixth finest this century.

Abbott also boasts the most wickets for a fast bowling in Division One of the Championship, with 60 scalps – only Simon Harmer and Jeetan Patel have more.

Despite being bowled out for 142, Somerset hit back with the new ball in style as the pitch

Davey had Ian Holland caught at second slip by Vijay and Tom Alsop lifting to mid-wicket.

Gregory had Felix Organ prodding behind to a ball which held its line before Sam Northeast and Liam Dawson were lbw to Overton

At 45 for six, and Aneurin Donald back in the dressing after he was bowled while withdrawing his bat, Hampshire appeared well short of setting Somerset a total.

But Vince dug in, he took 23 balls to get off the mark, before he rode through the gears and made batting look easy.

Lewis McManus and Keith Barker came and went, lbw to van der Merwe and Abell respectively, but Vince accelerated – reaching fifty in 78 balls with a pulled four.

Vince was forced to manipulate the strike amongst some defensive Somerset fields but cruised to a 136-ball hundred, which comprised of 14 boundaries.

He ended the day unbeaten on 102, having added 73 for the ninth wicket with Kyle Abbott.

Day Three

Kyle Abbott claimed Hampshire’s best-ever bowling figures and the fourth-best Specsavers County Championship as Somerset’s hopes of winning the title took a hefty blow at the Ageas Bowl.

South African Abbott had taken nine for 40 in the first innings and replicated his incredible fast bowling with a remarkable eight for 46 to blow Somerset away again with match figures of 17 for 86 – the Championship’s first 17-wicket haul for 80 years.

Somerset, who needed 281 to win, were skittled for 144 – having lost their first seven wickets for 14 runs in 60 balls.

The 136-run defeat, Somerset’s third loss of the season, means they will likely need to beat their title rivals at Taunton next week if they are to win the Championship for the first time in their history.

Hampshire, on the other hand, took 19 points from the match and lead the charge in the battle with Yorkshire and Kent for third place.

Abbott had started the day with his pads on as he continued his lengthy ninth-wicket partnership with century-maker James Vince.

The pair helped Hampshire add 50 morning runs to take their partnership to 119 before Vince edged behind for a wonderful 142, a 63 per cent share of his team’s runs, and Abbott drilled to mid-off.

That set Somerset 281 to win, which would have been by far the highest score of the match, with plenty of time remaining.

And it started almost perfectly as Murali Vijay and Steve Davies totted up 62 runs in 16 overs before lunch.

Both produced a series of eye-catching shots which hinted that the pitch had flattened under a day and a half of blues skies.

But Abbott came on after lunch and produced a spell as spellbinding and devilish as he fashioned in the first innings – his eight-over spell bringing six for 19.

Indian opener Vijay was the first to depart when he pulled straight to mid-on, handing Abbott his 10th of the match.

Tom Abell could do little but to edge a subtle in-ducker behind before Liam Dawson split away from Abbott by bowling James Hildreth with one which turned and stayed low.

Abbott thought he had Tom Banton lbw but it was adjudged to be going down leg only for the quick to readjust slightly next ball to pin his man with another in-seamer.

Bartlett was lbw next ball and despite the hat-trick ball being fended off, Davies, who had scored fifty in 86 balls, nicked behind.

Dom Bess was also leg-before to leave Somerset 100 for seven, and still 181 away from victory.

After a 40-run partnership with Lewis Gregory, Abbott returned and had Overton caught at second slip by Dawson.

Roelof van der Merwe swiped Dawson to point, where Abbott caught before the triumph was secured when Abbott castled Josh Davey.