Hampshire v Essex: Late wickets leave Division One champions in trouble
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day one):|
|Hampshire 254: Bailey 89, Vince 60; Porter 4-53, Harmer 3-47|
|Essex 33-5: Abbott 2-8, Edwards 2-15|
|Essex trail Hampshire by 221 runs|
|Hants 3 pts, Essex 3 pts|
New county champions Essex collapsed to 33-5 late on day one to leave Hampshire firmly on top at the Ageas Bowl.
Having been put into bat, Hampshire reached 254 in their first innings thanks largely to captain George Bailey's 89 and James Vince (60).
Division One's leading wicket-takers Jamie Porter (4-53) and Simon Harmer (3-47) once again starred for Essex.
But Kyle Abbott (2-8) and Fidel Edwards (2-15) struck to leave Essex in trouble at the close of play, trailing by 221.
Essex, who were confirmed as county champions for the first time since 1992 on Friday, are defending their unbeaten record in Division One this season.
Despite sitting in fourth place, Hampshire are one of five sides still in danger of relegation with two matches to play, but finished strongly to take the upper hand.
After a difficult opening period, Tom Alsop (34) and Vince put on 71 to rebuild, before Porter clean bowled Alsop and Vince edged Sam Cook (2-84) behind.
Australia batsman Bailey then took over, hitting 13 fours in his 130-ball innings to shepherd the Hampshire tail and pick up two batting points as Harmer and Porter chipped away.
Abbott, himself the third highest wicket-taker in the division, moved onto 50 scalps for the season by bowling Essex openers Nick Browne and Varun Chopra.
The late dismissals of Ravi Bopara and nightwatchman Cook then swung the day in the hosts' favour.