Tanya’s county roundup
Kyle Abbott produced one of the greatest performances in the history of county cricket to throw an enormous pancake over Somerset’s hopes of winning their first Championship title. At a blue‑skied Aegeas Bowl, he followed his nine for 40 in the first innings, with eight for 46 in the second – collecting 17 for 86, the best bowling figures for Hampshire and the best figures in first-class cricket since Jim Laker shyly gathered 19 for 90 in black and white in 1956.
Somerset, left to chase 281, had launched merrily after reaching it 62 without loss. But a revitalized Abbott, now pitching the ball up, took the post-sandwiches ball and Murali Vijay swatted him to mid-on, From there, Somerset fell to 100 for seven. There was a brief respite as Abbott rested, but he returned to mop up two of the last three wickets to leave a shellshocked Somerset licking their wounds.
“I reckon that is the best I can bowl,” he said. “Everything I wanted to do work. It just happened to be one of those days – it was incredible. It only takes one or two balls to think that I’m in it. Once I hit my length at my optimum speed than from there it puts my mind in a different space.”
The result means that the Championship will be decided in the final round of matches when Essex visit Taunton next week. Somerset must-win, as Essex will go into the match with a 12-point advantage after beating Surrey by an innings at Chelmsford. On a day for South African bowlers, Simon Harmer took seven for 58 to rapidly run through Surrey’s lineup and take his tally this season to 78. Earlier he had made a smote-heavy 50 not out as Essex built an unassailable lead.
Not a man to be overshadowed this match, or this month, Darren Stevens rolled into Yorkshire’s batting after tea, with four for 12. Six down at the close, Yorkshire require another 507 to win. Sam Billings had earlier made his second century of the game before Kent declared. Read More