Back-to-back defeats for Hants
Hampshire CCC nearly suffered a second consecutive innings defeat, still losing by ten wickets, Somerset being their tormentors this time. Another sub-100 first innings score put them firmly on the back foot from the off and things rarely looked up from there.
Batters fail again
As usual, Somerset’s extremely strong bowling attack got to work early. Joe Weatherly (20) was the only Hampshire batter to make double figures in the top six. Josh Davey and Craig Overton removed the openers before Sam Northeast was run-out, leaving Hampshire 36 for 3. Three overs later and the score sat on 42 for 6. Some minor lower order contributions led to a still frankly abysmal first innings score of 79.
Lower order runs boost Somerset
As Somerset began their innings the only boost for Hampshire would have been the west country side’s fragile batting line-up, facing up to Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas. A positive start saw Abbas and the newly returned Keith Barker reduce Somerset to 36 for 3, with the help of Abbott.
A fourth wicket stand of 54 saw Somerset take the lead and did not give Hampshire CCC a sniff of the tail before posting 189 runs. When the sixth wicket fell, any hopes of an inroad collapsed for Hampshire as Craig Overton flayed them around with a 93 ball 74. Leach, Davies and Gregory all made 30+ scores and the game was more or less gone.
Ashley Giles says “England will pick new and exciting talent versus New Zealand.”
Barker return the only bright spot for Hampshire
Hampshire were now 256 runs behind and needed to bat for two days to avoid another innings defeat. Saturday was washed out, leading to some semblance of hope for a draw but another middle order collapse saw Keith Barker and Felix Organ left to try and rescue some respectability. Organ’s battling innings of 7 from 108 together with an unbeaten fifty from Barker saw Hampshire narrowly avoid the innings defeat.
Somerset chased the total of two runs to win from the first ball of their innings to solidify their second place position in the table. Somerset face Surrey at home and Hampshire visit Lords in the next round. Middlesex are ideal opponents to face to get back in form as they flounder in fifth place.
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Can Hampshire CCC go all the way?
They look unlikely to make it into the top two with Surrey CCC and Somerset playing the way they are. Wins against Leicestershire and Middlesex would keep them in the hunt but they will be wary of needing to peg back the top two in the second half of the season.
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