County Championship: Hampshire wrap up final day win over Gloucestershire

Mohammad Abbas returned match numbers of 9-107 for Hampshire
LV = County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (fourth day)
Hampshire 342 and 204: Donald 89; Amir 3-33, Higgins 3-41
Gloucestershire 179 & 280: Scott 77, Hammond 67; Abbas 3-62
Hampshire (22 pts) beat Gloucestershire (3 pts) by 87 points

Hampshire kept up the pace in the county championship title chase by patiently securing an 87-point win over Gloucestershire.

Mohammad Abbas followed his first innings to six wickets with 3-62, while Liam Dawson and James Fuller both grabbed two wickets apiece as they secured a final session win in the Premier League.

The half-centuries of George Scott and Miles Hammond had given Gloucestershire hope of chasing 368 and a first win of the season, but the arrival of the second new ball curtailed their chances.

Hampshire moved nine points behind early leaders Surrey after winning a 21-point run, while Gloucestershire escaped the bottom three with their three bonus points.

The hosts started the day with eight wickets, while Gloucestershire needed 257 more runs in what would have been the second-biggest chase in their history.

The morning session saw Gloucestershire score 70 runs for the loss of just one wicket, with the required rate still manageable below three runs per plus.

George Scott was the only one to leave after dancing on the floor and picking the middle, for a personal best 77.

Meanwhile, Hammond notched his third half-century in as many matches in a mostly calm 150 deliveries.

This Ageas Bowl ground consistently assisted new balls throughout the game, with nine wickets falling in the first 10 overs of them and so Hampshire eagerly awaited a second cherry shortly after lunch.

Ian Holland sending Graeme van Buuren’s center stump flying in 77th was an added bonus and three wickets fell to within 10 overs of James Vince unpacking the new ball, to tip the scales firmly towards Hampshire.

Nine balls, Hammond fell on Keith Barker when he missed a straight and was pinned in front.

Abbas took his match tally to nine wickets with Tom Lace and Dominic Goodman’s quick double – the former was cut at midwicket while the latter tickled a delivery behind – and Ryan Higgins was caught late for 25 as he was trying to cut.

Last season Gloucestershire frustrated Hampshire with an epic block-a-thon on the final day to draw as nine shots on goal – with Goodman’s 48 nines saving the game.

But there was not to be a similar heist this time as Mohammad Amir was superbly caught by an Aneurin Donald dive after running backwards from cover and Ajeet Dale was strangled in the side of the leg – both at Fuller – to end the highly entertaining contest with 25 overs to spare.

Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network.

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