Kyle Abbott strengthened Hampshire’s title ambitions with a sensational six-wicket burst on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Welbeck Cricket Club.
The seamer returned superb figures of six for 37 from his 14 overs as Notts were bundled out for just 162 in only 60.2 overs.
Steven Mullaney batted for almost three hours for the home side, making 45 from 114 deliveries, with four fours and a six, before being the last Notts wicket to fall.
Hampshire, second in the table at start of play, then closed on 93 for two, with Joe Weatherley unbeaten on 47.
The hosts made the worst possible start, losing a wicket to the third ball of the match as Ben Slater unluckily inside-edged Keith Barker onto his stumps, without a run on the board.
The visitors then struck twice more to pick up an early bowling bonus point as Notts slid to 41 for three.
Chris Nash, playing in his 200th first class fixture, was trapped lbw by Abbott for six, who then had Joe Clarke caught at second slip by Weatherley for the same score.
Only 17.1 overs were bowled before a heavy shower halted play with Notts on 54 for three.
Notts lost their fourth wicket soon after lunch, when Ben Duckett, on 22, pushed at James Fuller and edged behind to Tom Alsop.
Duckett had made a century in last week’s drawn fixture against Warwickshire. Samit Patel, in contrast, arrived in the middle after four single-figure scores in a row.
He seemed to have found a welcome return to form, stroking four elegant boundaries but after a 90-minute vigil he feathered Abbott behind for 24.
Mullaney pulled a short ball from Fuller for the only six of the innings but then lost Tom Moores to a full-pitched delivery from Barker.
James Pattinson joined his skipper in a sixth-wicket partnership of 51 but once the Australian had been bowled by Abbott, the home county slid from 156 for six to 162 all out.
Abbott dismissed Luke Wood and Luke Fletcher in the same over, leaving Fuller to close out the innings with the wicket of Mullaney.
Notts got the early boost they were hoping for, as Oli Soames edged Fletcher to slip with five runs on the board.
Weatherley and Ajinkya Rahane combined to frustrate Notts over the closing two hours, adding 80 together, the highest stand of the day of the day.
Jake Ball, playing on his home club ground, found a willing catcher in Mullaney to send back Rahane for 34, before Weatherley and nightwatchman Mason Crane reached stumps without further loss.
Heavy rain wiped out the entire second day of Nottinghamshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at Welbeck.
Light morning drizzle turned into heavy and prolonged showers, leaving the club ground saturated and players and supporters frustrated.
Umpires Nick Cook and Paul Pollard were left with little option but to call play off for the day when they inspected soon after lunch.
On the opening day of the match Hampshire closed on 93 for two in reply to Nottinghamshire’s all out total of 162.
There was no play on the third day of Nottinghamshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at Welbeck Cricket Club.
Excessive rain prompted umpires Nick Cook and Paul Pollard to rule out the chances of any play as early as 9am.
In consultation with the match officials and the groundstaff both sides have decided to give the weather every chance of improving, allowing for the potential of some play on the fourth day, despite the poor forecast.
With no improvement in the conditions there was no possibility of any play on the final day of Nottinghamshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at Welbeck.
Heavy rain had prevented any play on the second and third day of the match and the saturated outfield and the likelihood of further showers prompted umpires Nick Cook and Paul Pollard to call off the contest shortly after 9.45am.
Both sides picked up five points for the draw, with Hampshire also claiming three bonus points for their bowling efforts on the opening day when they dismissed Notts for 162, with Kyle Abbott picking up figures of six for 37.
Hampshire had replied with 93 for two before the inclement weather prevented any further play. The south coast side are next in action on Sunday, when they travel to Chelmsford to face Essex.