Dean half-century can't prevent Hampshire defeat

Spinners Liam Dawson and Mason Crane bowled Hampshire to a run victory over Somerset in their Specsavers’ County Championship game at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton. The pair picked up nine of the 10 Somerset wickets to fall on a day when the host county suffered their third four-day defeat of the summer.

With the exception of Dean Elgar, who helped himself to a second half century of the game, it was another disappointing batting performance from Tom Abell’s side. Having begun the day needing a further 220 runs to win, with all 10 second innings wickets in tact, they slipped from 58 for 0 to 169 all out in 53.3 overs.

Having kicked off the penultimate day as slight favourites, Somerset lost six wickets in the first session as Dawson, in particular, bowled with purpose and accuracy. Marcus Trescothick (34) looked in decent touch until he was adjudged to have nicked a Dawson delivery to wicket keeper Lewis McManus.

Thereafter, wickets tumbled at regular intervals as Hampshire, for the first time in the game, appeared to be in total control. Captain Tom Abell departed at 70 for 2, once again off the bowling of Dawson, before Mason Crane found a way through James Hildreth’s defence, three runs later.

Steven Davies was trapped leg before by the increasingly effective Dawson and though Elgar, who passed 50 off 85 balls, batted without equal, he and Peter Trego were back in the locker room before the lunch interval.

Trego was run out after Elgar refused a possible single. Then, the South African, who looked in precious little bother was bowled by a Crane delivery that quite literally crept along the floor beneath his bat.

Lewis Gregory offered some resistance after lunch but with Craig Overton and Jack Leach departing for 10 and 7 respectively,  to Crane, Somerset were soon staring down the barrel. Gregory followed, lbw to Dawson for 25, leaving Crane to not only help himself to the wicket of Jamie Overton in the 55th over, but his fifth scalp of the innings.

Afterwards a clearly disappointed Tom Abell said: “Obviously it’s not good enough and a massively disappointing result to this game and to the start of the season as well. In all three games that we have lost we have been in decent positions.

“When we look it is the batting that is letting us down time and time again and we have just spoken about this in the dressing room. We need to be better, we need to be more ruthless and need to make it more difficult for the opposition. We have got ourselves into this position so we just have to make sure that we get ourselves out of it.

“Form is a funny one but without a doubt there are three or four of us who are not performing as we would have liked. I think without the exception of Tres and Dean at the top we are not up to the mark and there is nobody who is more aware of it than ourselves. We have got to look at ourselves and make sure that we are doing everything we can to put it right before next Friday.

“As the game went along it probably spun slightly less so it got better to bat on, but today perhaps we went a little bit into our shells. The pressure got hold of us and we didn’t play with the freedom that they played with. Hampshire batted better than us.”

Tom added: “We can’t sit here feeling sorry for ourselves we have got ourselves into this mess, we need to step up and get ourselves out of it. It’s massively disappointing for all of us. There have been some positives and I think ur bowling has been really good – we just need to back that up with the bat.”

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11/07/2022 11:00 - Southport