Hampshire wrap up win on day three
Keith Barker played key roles with bat and ball as Hampshire completed a resounding ten-wicket LV= Insurance County Championship win over Somerset inside three days at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
The 35-year-old left-arm seamer began by contributing a valuable 36 to help his side extend their first innings total from an overnight 144 for five to 280 all out, Aneurin Donald making 57 and James Fuller a rapid 38.
That gave Hampshire a lead of 69. Barker then got to work with the ball, combining swing with nagging accuracy to claim six for 27 from an unbroken 13-over opening spell as Somerset fell to 25 for six before being bowled out with the scores level.
Opener Felix Organ hit the required single for victory off the fourth ball of Hampshire’s second innings and his team took 21 points to Somerset’s four.
The day began with the visitors trailing on first innings by 67. Ben Brown failed to add to his overnight score of 19 before being pinned lbw by Peter Siddle with the total on 152.
At 154 for six in the 59th over the ball had to be changed for the second time in the innings. By then Donald was showing a desire to get on the front foot as he and Barker ate into Somerset’s lead.
A key moment came on 195 for six when Donald, on 29, was dropped by Craig Overton at gully off Josh Davey.
Barker had moved confidently to 26 when greeting the introduction of England spinner Jack Leach with a six and a four off his first two balls.
The first of those shots put Hampshire in front. The next delivery saw Barker caught at mid-wicket, but Donald went to a 74-ball half-century before falling to the second new ball, bowled by Siddle.
Kyle Abbott fell cheaply to Overton, but Fuller ensured Hampshire of a meaningful advantage, striking four fours and two sixes during a last wicket stand of 24 with Mohammad Abbas.
Overton and Siddle ended with four wickets each.
Tom Lammonby was caught behind for a duck off Abbas, while opening partner Matt Renshaw was trapped lbw on his crease by Barker to make it 12 for two.
Tom Abell followed a leg-side delivery from Barker and glanced a catch to Ben Brown before Tom Banton top-edged a pull off Abbas to give the wicketkeeper another victim.
James Hildreth moved to 18,000 First Class runs with a single to get off the mark, but it proved his only contribution as he was bowled by a full, swinging ball from Barker.
A similar delivery saw Lewis Gregory fall leg-before. Overton helped Steve Davies add 32 before being bowled by another full Barker delivery for 13.
Davies, on 19, had his leg stump uprooted by Abbott, whilst Jack Leach was brilliantly caught at cover by Nick Gubbins, having middled a drive off Abbot. After Davey had brought the scores level with a glanced boundary off Barker, he was bowled next ball shouldering arms.
At the close of play, Somerset Captain, Tom Abell said: “It was such a disappointing day and it’s simply not good enough. Our bowling attack were brilliant again and I thought we were certainly still in it going into the second innings. If you don’t front up with the bat though, you won’t win many games. We’re all very disappointed.
“We know what we’re getting when we come up against this Hampshire attack because they are quality. They don’t give you anything. We fronted up to that in the first innings and showed a bit of character to fight through. I think we posted a competitive total on that wicket, and we had to reapply ourselves second time around and we didn’t do that.
“We’re not going to make excuses for ourselves. Today was really poor and we will be looking at ourselves first and foremost. We can’t blame the conditions, we can’t blame the balls and we can’t look to anything else other than ourselves. You’ve got to earn the right to score runs later in the day and we didn’t do that.
“We’ve had a really good few weeks and our red-ball performances have been good. We’ve been much improved with the bat and we came into the game in a really good place and full of confidence. There’s still so much cricket to be played but this is certainly a setback. Having made such strides recently it’s disappointing that we haven’t kicked on and given a better account of ourselves in this game.
“We knew we were going to be tested because they’re a top side, but we are better than we have shown today. The lack of character that we’ve shown in the second innings is the thing that hurts the most.”
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