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Defeat for Somerset on day three at Hampshire

Kyle Abbott claimed Hampshire’s best-ever bowling figures as the hosts came out on top in this Specsavers County Championship match at the Ageas Bowl.

South African Abbott had taken nine for 40 in the first innings and replicated that with eight for 46 to finish with match figures of 17 for 86, the Championship’s first 17-wicket haul for 80 years.

Somerset, who needed 281 to win, were dismissed for 144.

The 136-run defeat, only Somerset’s third loss of the season, means they will likely need to beat Essex at the Cooper Associates County Ground next week if they are to win the Championship.

Hampshire took 19 points from the match and lead the charge in the battle with Yorkshire and Kent for third place.

Abbott had started the day with his pads on as he continued his lengthy ninth-wicket partnership with century-maker James Vince.

The pair helped Hampshire add 50 morning runs to take their partnership to 119 before Vince edged Craig Overton behind for 142, a 63 per cent share of his team’s runs, and Abbott drilled Josh Davey to Lewis Gregory at mid-off.

That set Somerset 281 to win, which would have been by far the highest score of the match, with plenty of time remaining.

The chase started almost perfectly as Murali Vijay and Steve Davies totted up 62 runs in the 16 overs before lunch.

Both produced a series of eye-catching shots which hinted that the pitch had flattened under a day and a half of blue skies.

Hwever, Abbott came on after lunch and produced an eight-over spell which brought six for 19.

Indian opener Vijay was the first to depart when he pulled to mid-on, handing Abbott his 10th of the match.

Tom Abell could do little but edge a subtle in-ducker behind before Liam Dawson bowled James Hildreth with one which turned and stayed low.

Abbott thought he had Tom Banton lbw but it was adjudged to be going down leg only for Abbott to get his man with the very next ball. George Bartlett went lbw next ball and despite the hat-trick ball being fended off, Davies, who had scored fifty in 86 balls, nicked behind.

Dom Bess was also leg-before to leave Somerset 100 for seven, and still 181 away from victory.

After a 40-run partnership with Lewis Gregory, Abbott returned and had Overton caught at second slip by Dawson.

Roelof van der Merwe swiped Dawson to point, where Abbott caught before the triumph was secured when Abbott castled Josh Davey.

At the end of the match Somerset Captain, Tom Abell said: “We felt like we had a chance this morning but hats off to Kyle Abbott.

“We got off to a fantastic start. The way Vijay and Steve played to give us that start was crucial and we felt like we had a really good shot at lunch. We lost a lot of wickets quickly and you can’t afford to do that.

“Batting was tricky on the first two days but they had important contributions from Dawson and Vince and unfortunately we didn’t have that.

“We’ve got one game to go now and it’s a must win for us. As disappointing as this week has been, we have to put that behind us and be in the best possible frame of mind that we can be in for next week. We have to dust ourselves off and make sure that we’re ready for the Essex match.”

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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