County Championship: Notts beat Hampshire to stay top of Division One

Jake Ball celebrates a wicket
England Test hopeful Jake Ball took three Hampshire wickets on the final day to help Notts to victory
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day four):
Nottinghamshire 302 & 389-9 dec: Mullaney 130, Taylor 83; Edwards 3-60
Hampshire 223 & 265: Amla 112, Weatherley 56; Broad 3-57, Gurney 3-57
Notts (22 pts) beat Hampshire (4 pts) by 203 runs

Division One leaders Nottinghamshire won for the third time in four games with a final-day County Championship victory over Hampshire at Trent Bridge.

Despite Hashim Amla's 112, Hampshire were bowled out for 265 in pursuit of what became a nominal target of 469.

After resuming on 111-3, the visitors lost nightwatchman Chris Wood, bowled by Jake Ball, in the first over.

Their lower order battled gamely, but Amla was the last man out as Notts triumphed by 203 runs.

Amla was reprieved early on day four when he was dropped at slip by Steven Mullaney, and the South Africa batsman took advantage to register his 51st first-class century off 179 balls.

Hampshire's chances of saving the game were not helped by all-rounder Liam Dawson needing to retire hurt after being struck on the hand by a Harry Gurney delivery.

He returned to the crease at the fall of the seventh wicket, but was trapped lbw by left-arm seamer Gurney just before tea.

Gurney, Ball and England seamer Stuart Broad each took three second-innings wickets as Notts claimed a 22-point victory to stretch their lead at the top to 17 points.

Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores:

"It's now a very good start to the season. All three wins have been very different as well.

"From the Lancashire one, when there was a flurry of wickets in a short space of time, to the Worcestershire game, which felt like it was on fast forward, to this one which felt like it was a proper four-day win with hard graft all the way through.

"I've seen loads of games of four-day cricket but that's as good a four-day win as I've seen for a team being on the front foot."

Hampshire head coach Craig White:

"It was always going to be difficult. It looked like we were going to be able to go into the final day with no wickets down.

"And, if we had done that we might have been in with a decent chance, but there with a couple of poor dismissals on Sunday night and Stuart Broad got James Vince with an excellent ball.

"So we were chasing the game - and it's disappointing because there have been little crucial spells like that - it's an area of play that we're not nailing at the moment and which we now need to sort out."

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