County Championship: Kyle Abbott stars as Hampshire beat Somerset
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As Hampshire dealt a enormous blow to Somerset’s County Championship title hopes with victory at the Ageas 27, kyle Abbott finished with match figures of 17-86.
Since Somerset were 144 out, chasing 281, the Africa paceman followed closely first-innings 9-40 using 8-46.
His match figures, that helped his team are the greatest by the greatest Championship history and also some other Hampshire bowler ever.
Hampshire captain James Vince had earlier made 142 inside their 226 all out.
Somerset almost certainly needing to beat nearest rivals Essex in their final game, which gets under way was left by the result.
Having started this round of fixtures at the top of this Division 1 table having an eight-point edge, the West Country side may now find themselves 12 points adrift at second if Essex are able to beat Surrey in their match.
However, whatever the cause that game, the name is sure to be determined at the County Ground in Taunton.
Somerset’s chase in the Ageas Bowl looked a tough one before Vince added 40 to expand the edge of Hampshire .
The England batsman, ably supported by Abbott (25), struck 22 fours before eventually being caught behind off Craig Overton (3-74).
Somerset openers Steven Davies (51) and Murali Vijay (29) afterward looked comparatively untroubled in watching these to 86-0, temporarily raising their hopes of pulling off what had looked an improbable victory.
But another meltdown was sparked by the departure of India batsman Vijay, as seven wickets fell for just 14 runs to completely turn the contest on its mind.
Having bowled too short prior to lunch, Abbott pitched the ball up and wreaked havoc during the day session, with Tom Banton and George Bartlett both trapped before playing across the line and Davies (51) edging into the slides to provide him three wickets in four balls.
Before Liam Dawson took the penultimate wicket, of Roelof van der Merwe, Abbott had been in with a chance of returning the amounts of all time – next only to Jim Laker’s 19-90 for England.
But he’d at least bowl last guy Josh Davey to give him 17 wickets, the finest Championship haul since 1925 – and he currently has 68 this season at a cost of only 15.70 each.
Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott:
“It hasn’t quite sunk in. It is very extraordinary. I didn’t think I would take eight and that I did not believe now I would take eight. I reckon that is the best I could bowl.
“Everything I wanted to do worked. It happened to be just one of those days it was incredible. When it started to reverse it got fun. We knew we needed to get into their middle order and place pressure on these as 280 was a long way away.
“In 86-0 we were only thinking if we buy among the openers and the captain that was the objective. They were under enormous pressure, they are guys searching for their very first tournament; we had nothing.
“Would I prefer to finish next or spoil Somerset’s party? I wanted to spoil the celebration by a long way. They celebrated against us in the One-Day Cup closing so that we wanted to provide them some difficult work for next week from Essex.”
Somerset captain Tom Abell:
“They had three international cricketers who obtained control of the game in their opinion. We were second best in most aspects. We felt we had been in with a chance at the beginning of the afternoon but we went through a spell where we dropped seven wickets.
“Hats off to Kyle Abbott. He was unbelievable through the game. He’s the ball and also we all had to accommodate as batters. He targeted on at the stumps and there were lbws and bowleds.
“There is a massive amount of excitement across Somerset cricket right now and we’re desperate to deliver the Championship.
“This week hasn’t gone our way but we’ve got a good opportunity . We will dust ourselves down before the Essex game.”
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