County Championship: Hampshire beat Somerset to edge Surrey closer to title

Kyle Abbott
Hampshire seamer Kyle Abbott ended with match figures of 11-71
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day two):
Somerset 106 & 116: Trescothick 50; Abbott 6-40, Steyn 4-34
Hampshire 148: Northeast 53; J Overton 3-22, Davey 3-40 & 75-4: Adams 25*; C Overton 3-22
Hampshire (19 pts) beat Somerset (3 pts) by six wickets

Hampshire beat Somerset in two days at the Ageas Bowl to leave Surrey on the brink of the County Championship title.

Surrey now require four more points from their game at Worcestershire, with that match still in its first innings.

After Hampshire were all out for 148, a lead of 42, pacemen Kyle Abbott (6-40) and Dale Steyn (4-34) tore through the Somerset batting order.

They were skittled for 116, before the hosts survived a wobble to reach their target of 75 and seal a six-wicket win.

Hampshire had slipped to 21-3 when captain James Vince - caught at slip attempting to drive a wide one - was dismissed for a pair.

But Jimmy Adams (25 not out) saw them home to avoid any repeat of the drama at Taunton last Wednesday, when Somerset crumbled to 77 all out as their game against Lancashire ended in a tie.

It was, however, the second time in the space of a week that Somerset's batsmen had failed to back up their bowlers as they failed to reach 200 for the fourth successive innings.

Former England opener Marcus Trescothick was the only man to offer any resistance against Hampshire, passing 26,000 first-class runs on his way to a half-century - before being the last man out for 50 just two balls later.

South Africa pair Abbott and Steyn took 18 of the 20 Somerset wickets to fall in the contest, the former ending with match figures of 11-71.

Surrey, unbeaten all season, still have two more fixtures - against Somerset and Essex - in which to accumulate the remaining four points needed to win their first title since 2002 if they are unable to secure them at New Road.

Hampshire pace bowler Kyle Abbott:

"I had a good partnership with Dale when we played Tests for South Africa and it has been nice to chat with him about those times over the last few weeks.

"To bowl with him is awesome. When we get into a rhythm together from both ends we click and we do well together.

"The wickets are playing very strangely at this time of the year which is good for me, but not good for the top-order batsmen.

"We aren't thinking about safety now. We are just thinking about how high up we can finish in the table."

Somerset captain Tom Abell:

"It was a very interesting game. We had a short game last week as well and this wasn't too different.

"Full credit to their bowlers I thought they were outstanding. They asked a lot of questions throughout the game and we weren't up to it.

"Special mention for Tres today, he passed 26,000 runs and gave us a sniff but it wasn't to be.

"They had a world-class seam attack and it was always going to be tough. I am not going to complain about the wicket, it is the same for both sides."

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