Hampshire fell to a nine-wicket defeat, despite an excellent innings from Gareth Berg (86), as Somerset seized victory on day three in the LV= County Championship at the Ageas Bowl.
After yesterday’s authoritative bowling performance, Somerset’s attack again bowled well on the third day as regular wickets fell, despite impressive knocks from Berg and Adam Wheater (49).
Hampshire were able to grab a lead of 63 before Somerset’s openers were able to reach their required total for the loss of just one wicket.
With Hampshire resuming on 41-2 and still trailing by 158 runs at the start of the day, opener Michael Carberry (28) and night-watchman James Tomlinson (5) saw off the opening 45 minutes without loss, before the latter, who had performed his role admirably, departed with Overton luring an edge.
The loss of Carberry and Liam Dawson (4) were of much more significance to the Hampshire lead-building efforts and with both men falling for the addition of just five runs, the hosts looked to be struggling once again at 70-5.
An important partnership between Wheater and Will Smith (37) ensured Hampshire reached the interval without further loss but wickets again fell after the break.
Wheater was the first to be dismissed as his brisk counter-attacking innings came to a close one short of what would have been a deserved half-century, before Smith was caught at mid-off attempting an aggressive stroke to leave the home-side 180-5, still 20 runs behind.
However, Berg built on his first-innings score of 38 with yet another valuable contribution and the right-hander looked in superb touch, as an array of positive stroke-play saw him bring up a well-made half-century.
Berg along with good support from Danny Briggs (15) saw Hampshire build a second-innings lead of 63, as they shared a 61-run partnership before Briggs succumbed to an efficient Crag Overton (4-57).
Berg was the final wicket to fall, the all-rounder unfortunate to edge behind just 14 runs short of his first Hampshire century leaving Hampshire 262 all-out, 63 runs ahead.
Needing just 64 for victory, openers Marcus Trescothick (35) and Tom Abell (21*) saw the away-side safely towards their target and although Briggs (1-3) struck to remove Trescothick late in the day, Somerset reached the required runs without further loss to hand them back-to-back County Championship wins.
There was a good amount of spirit shown today but we were too far behind in the game for it to make enough of an impact in the final result. Gareth Berg has been excellent with the bat and he bowled beautifully too but Somerset got too many and certainly we were well short in terms of what we thought was par in the first-innings.Jimmy Adams, Hampshire Captain
Words: Will Brewster