Kyle Abbott claims hat-trick as last-day victory keeps Hampshire in title race

Hampshire’s Kyle Abbott took a LV= County Championship hat-trick against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham (Mark Kerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Hampshire’s Kyle Abbott took a LV= County Championship hat-trick against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham (Mark Kerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Kyle Abbott took a hat-trick to keep Hampshire in the title hunt behind LV= County Championship Division One leaders Surrey.

Abbott’s heroics in a six for 76 haul helped second-placed Hampshire to a six-wicket win over Gloucestershire at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bottom-of-the-table Gloucestershire were dismissed for 337 in their second innings,  with Miles Hammond having made a career-best 169.

Veteran South African paceman Abbott made his decisive intervention either side of the lunch interval by ending Hammond’s marathon near six-hour stint, and then returning after the break to remove Zafar Gohar and Tom Price. Keith Barker chipped in with four for 65.

Hampshire, needing 82 for victory, reached their target in 9.3 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Surrey are 14 points clear at the top after completing a six-wicket win over Essex at the Kia Oval.

Resuming their second innings on 85 for two, and still requiring 76 more runs, Surrey wrapped up victory in 20 overs to clinch a 22-point triumph.

Opener Ryan Patel (38) and nightwatchman Tom Lawes (32 not out) guided Surrey to a sixth win in 10 matches.

Third-placed Lancashire are 31 points adrift of Surry after beating Northamptonshire by four wickets at Wantage Road.

Washington Sundar was the star of the show as he followed up his five-wicket haul with a match-winning 34 not out.

Lancashire had started the day needing 86 more runs for victory, and the India international’s unbeaten partnership of 69 with nightwatchman Will Williams (29 not out) guaranteed that they would reach their target of 278.

Josh Bohannon, 92 overnight, had earlier made 103 from 168 balls with 18 fours and a six.

Kent leapfrogged defending champions Warwickshire with a thumping 177-run win at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire, resuming on 28 for two in pursuit of a target of 325, folded before lunch on the final day and were dismissed for 147.

Matt Milnes led the demolition with a destructive burst of 6.5-1-11-4, while Matthew Quinn and Navdeep Saini picked up two wickets apiece.

Kent’s bowlers were also supported by fine work in the field, led by captain and wicketkeeper Sam Billings.

His 12 catches in the match surpassed the previous Kent record of 10, held jointly by Fred Huish in 1911 and Jack Hubble in 1923.

Rain washed out the final day of the remaining top-flight fixture between Somerset and Yorkshire at Taunton.

Somerset were due to resume their second innings on 225 for six, leading by 373, but the match was abandoned just after 3pm.

In Division Two, leaders Nottinghamshire were frustrated by a mixture of rain and determined Derbyshire batting and had to settle for a draw.

Nottinghamshire – 300 ahead on first innings – needed 10 wickets on the final day but managed only four as openers Luis Reece (86) and Harry Came (70) scored half-centuries for the home side.

Rain had wiped out the morning’s play before Derbyshire battled their way to 249 four four, with Came and Reece sharing a stand of 161 – the county’s first century opening partnership of the season.

Second-placed Middlesex were also thwarted as Sussex clung on for a draw at Lord’s.

Debutant tailender Ari Karvelas, a Greece international, made a defiant career-best 57 as Sussex ended on 181 for nine in their second innings.

Tom Helm was the pick of the Middlesex bowlers with figures of 18-5-37-4, but Sussex recovered from the perilous position of 96 for seven.

Sam Northeast moved to the brink of creating Glamorgan history at Leicester.

Northeast will start the final day unbeaten on 308 – just one short of matching Steve James’ 309 not out against Sussex in 2000 as the highest first-class score by a Glamorgan player.

Glamorgan are 563 for five in reply to Leicestershire’s 584 after Northeast shared respective stands of 306 with Colin Ingram (139) and an unbroken 229 with Chris Cooke (71 not out).