Hampshire 342 (Organ 107, Vince 78) and 28 for 4 (Amir 3-22) lead Gloucestershire 179 (Abbas 6-45) by 191 runs
Mohammad Abbas celebrated his first LV= Insurance County Championship five-wicket haul of the season but Gloucestershire’s ripsnorting evening session snatched the momentum from Hampshire.
Hampshire looked set for a first-innings lead in excess of 200 after Abbas ripped through the visitors with a textbook showcase of line and length bowling with 6 for 45. But Ajeet Singh Dale and Jared Warner added 55 for the last wicket to reduce the deficit to 163.
To start the day, Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott had failed to reach the bonus point for 350 runs despite a spirited morning effort, with Graeme van Buuren pinning Abbott lbw and Dawson flailing to deep extra cover – Hampshire all out for 342.
Abbas came into his own with an incredible seven-over spell of 4 for 16. Abbas’ second over was an Ageas Bowl classic. Marcus Harris left the first ball and pumped the second for three before the overseas signing found George Scott’s tentative outside-edge behind. James Bracey was shelled at third slip first ball, played and missed the second before he finally tickled behind – Abbas coming over, around and then over the wicket again, a plan hatched by Keith Barker during their meeting last year.
Hampshire were now in the box seat and relentlessly hunted down further wickets. Miles Hammond was the next to feather Abbas to keeper Ben Brown before van Buuren was leg before on the cusp of lunch.
Abbas’ spell initiated murmurs in the Hampshire dressing room that it had produced more heat than other efforts in recent weeks due to compatriots Amir and Naseem Shah watching on.
Marcus Harris ended the procession to Abbas by loosely driving Abbott to second slip and Tom Lace had his off stump left lopsided by James Fuller.
Ryan Higgins countered with an entertaining 46 in conjunction with Dom Goodman before taking on Felix Organ one too many times to top-edge to deep midwicket. Abbas then completed his five-wicket haul with a short ball into Goodman’s ribs, which was gloved through to Brown. Amir followed two balls later with a sharp edge to second slip – Abbas celebrating by running down to his friend and laying his hands on his shoulder in a consolidatory manner.
The hosts debated whether to enforce the follow-on or not at the fall of that ninth wicket, only for Dale and Warner to put on 55 – the highest partnership of the innings. Dale, against his former county, laughed at his No.11 billing with a brisk 36. Organ eventually got Warner to push to short leg to bowl Gloucestershire out for 179.
Gloucestershire’s glee was increased as, in 11 evening overs, Amir had Organ jabbing to the cordon second ball, before Ian Holland fell in the following over – caught behind attempting to leave Higgins.
Abbott and Abbas were lbw in successive balls to Amir coming around the wicket, as Hampshire saw their openers and tail disappear in a little over 45 minutes of havoc.