County Championship | Hampshire pacer Kyle Abbott returns with match figures of 17 for 86
32-year-old South Africa pacer Kyle Abbott shattered a plethora of records for Hampshire cricket team, claiming 17 wickets in two days giving away just 86 runs at an economy of just above two. This inspired spell of bowling which included nine wickets for 40 runs as well as eight for 46 runs helped Hampshire defeat Somerset by 136 runs, leaving Somerset with a must-win game against Essex to clinch their maiden Specsavers County Championship Division 1, 2019.
An 11-Test veteran, Abbott last represented South Africa in Test match cricket in January 2017 against Sri Lanka in Cape Town where he went wicketless after 23 overs. Kyle previously had announced himself in the international stage with a bang when he took seven for 29 against Pakistan at Centurion in 2013. Kyle Abbott's ability to swing both the new and the old either way caught everyone's attention. Abbott, Steyn, Philander and Morkel formed a lethal opening pair in Test matches for South Africa which was a perfect combination of swing, speed and accuracy.
Experienced Somerset batsmen Murali Vijay and Steve Davies, found it hard to read the swing of Abbott as he claimed the openers in both the innings. After struggling with the movement, Somerset Openers gave them a solid start in the second, racing to 86 without loss. But Abbott had different plans when he returned with a lethal spell of reverse swing bowling that saw the next seven wickets fall for only 14 runs.
17 wickets in a single match is the best recorded figure for any Hampshire bowler while fourth best ever in county championships. This is the second best spell of bowling in a first class match since Jim Laker's 19/90 against Australia in the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester in 1956.
With this defeat, Somerset lost their eight point cushion over their rivals Essex and stand second with a difference of 12 points.