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Bowlers put Somerset on top at Hampshire

Somerset’s bowlers put the Specsavers County Championship leaders on top on day one of this match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Only Liam Dawson offered any resistance as the visitors enjoyed a fruitful day with the ball before the weather took hold.

All-rounder Dawson saved Hampshire from an embarrassing first-innings total having arrived at the wicket with the hosts toiling on 18 for four.

He went on to make 103 from 156 balls, taking his side to 196 all out.

Somerset took three bonus points from the day after James Vince won the toss decided to bat on a very green-topped pitch.

In the next 12 overs Hampshire crumpled to 24 for five with Lewis Gregory and Josh Davey sharing the five scalps.

It took just three deliveries for Gregory to make his first breakthrough, as Felix Organ edged to first slip while trying a back-foot drive.

Tom Alsop was bowled by a delightful delivery from Davey, which shaped in and then nipped away before Sam Northeast was brilliantly caught by Roelof van der Merwe at gully.

Vince and Ian Holland also departed to Gregory, whose seven morning overs returned three for 24 before ending with an analysis of three for 63.

Aneurin Donald left Hampshire 57 for six when he was caught off Davey, before Lewis McManus departed soon after lunch when he was snaffled at point.

At 88 for seven, the home side were facing a sub-100 total but Dawson and Keith Barker put on 92 to frustrate Somerset.

Dawson arrived at his century in 154 balls whilst Barker made 40 from 76 balls before both departed in back-to-back overs.

Barker was trapped lbw by Dom Bess before Dawson edged Tom Abell behind.The Somerset skipper quickly wrapped up the innings two overs later when he castled Fidel Edwards.

Somerset ended the day on 30 for two with Kyle Abbott picking up both wickets.

The South African trapped Murali Vijay lbw for a nine-ball duck before bowling Steve Davies to post two for one from six overs before a series of bad light interruptions eventually curtailed the day.

At the close of play Lewis Gregory said: “There was a little bit in the surface with the new ball, and there were some overheads as well, so it was nice to make use of that early and get ahead of the game.

“I think the ball got a little bit softer. The wicket is quite abrasive, and it was hard to keep the ball in good condition. It seemed to nip around a little bit, so fingers crossed we can play well first thing in the morning, and with the sunshine out we can make hay.

“The ball to get Vince was a nice one. We know how good Vincey is, him and Northeast are crucial wickets. To get those two cheaply was really nice. Hopefully we can have a repeat in the second innings.

“The mood is really good. The goal at the start of the season was to be up and around it in September, and that’s where we are. We’re trying to keep things very simple, take each day as it comes, and put in as good a performance as possible.”

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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