County Championship: Somerset stumble against Hampshire

Kyle Abbott
Kyle Abbott has now taken 41 Championship wickets for Hampshire this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day one):
Somerset 106: Green 26; Abbott 5-31, Steyn 3-37
Hamphire 142-9: Northeast 53; Overton 3-22, Davey 3-35
Hampshire (3 pts) lead Somerset (3 pts) by 36 runs

Nineteen wickets fell as Hampshire edged day one against Somerset, who saw their slim hopes of a first County Championship title fade further.

The second-placed visitors were all out for just 106 as opener Ben Green - playing only his second first-class match - top scored with 26.

South African Kyle Abbott took 5-31 for the hosts who then struggled to 142-9.

Sam Northeast made 53, but Josh Davey and Jamie Overton took three wickets each, as Hampshire moved 36 runs ahead.

Somerset went into this round of games 43 points behind leaders Surrey, who began their match with Worcestershire needing 30 to be certain of the title.

With the West Country side failing to pick up any batting bonus points, Surrey now need a maximum of 25 points to be certain of a first title since 2002.

Five Somerset players were dismissed for single-figure scores and only 20-year-old Green, who scored one and 16 on his first-class debut in last week's dramatic tie with Lancashire, passed 20.

Abbott, who took his third 'five-for' in successive matches, was well supported by Dale Steyn, whose 3-37 took his tally to 16 wickets in five games for Hampshire, while Ian Holland (2-8) removed Green.

The hosts fared little better in reply, reaching 68-6 as Overton (3-22) and Davey (3-35) ripped through their top order.

A seventh-wicket partnership of 56 between Liam Dawson (31) and Northeast inched Hampshire into the lead, before late wickets helped Somerset collect maximum bowling points.

Hampshire all-rounder Ian Holland:

"19 wickets in the day and the game has been moving forward quickly. Hopefully we can keep scoring runs. Any lead is a good lead although, when you bowl a team out for 100, you want to get slightly further ahead.

"The wicket has been dicey and the boys have been getting out to good balls. It has been pretty good bowling from both sides.

"We bowled really well, especially Kyle Abbott, and put the ball in good spots. There is a little bit there and we reaped the rewards for being really consistent.

Somerset all-rounder Josh Davey:

"The wicket had a lot in it for the seamers and there was a lot of movement. They have an attack full of international quality on show who made it difficult for us.

"They haven't got a big lead at the moment so we need come back in the morning and take that last wicket very quickly.

"Northeast and Dawson played well and positively and they got a partnership together. The longer you bat the easier it comes and they showed that."

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