Hampshire 142 for 9 (Northeast 53, J Overton 3-22) lead Somerset 106 (Abbott 5-31) for 36 runs
For three seasons in a row Row Hampshire has escaped the Division One relegation by little more than a mustache, and the stubborn Sam Northeast 53 gave them a chance to fight another great getaway on a day when 19 terrains fell in the Ageas Bowl.
Entering the last game of the week on New Road, Hampshire seemed to fit again into the mire of relegation, but that victory and their efforts on the first day will give them hope that the quagmire can be avoided without the same anxieties of previous years.
The defeat here would surely spell the death sentence for Somerset's chances in the Championship, but it would be foolish to discard them in this game: the pitch can be flattened on a more typical Ageas Bowl surface, and with the deficit of only 36, there are still many chances that they can hit their way b enter into contention.
One feels that few tears would spill outside the county borders if Hampshire finished this season in the last two. Their assists to the Championship are regularly among the lowest of the elite, and bad blood lingers after their survival during the Durham debacle in 2016. Add the mix to the fact that not a single ball has been delivered by an Englishman in his last three innings, and it is safe to conclude that Hampshire has gained little support from the neutrals since its return to Division One.
While this effort was dictated largely by the efforts of the Northeast, it took three hours on its first Championship of fifty in this field since his moved from Kent, and the cosmopolitan bowling attack, his brave Jimmy Adams made a valuable 31 in conditions that demanded guts and patience.
Adams is in his last game race before his retirement at the end of the season, and although he has rarely flirted with the England race or has captured national attention, he is a highly respected character on the county circuit, and – like another left-handed starter this week – he showed the courage to go and dig while Somerset was looking for early wickets.
In 68-for-6, Hampshire seemed in danger of succumbing to a first-inning deficit, but Northeast and Liam Dawson combined to guide them to the lead and to a useful position. None played a brilliant and fluid entry, but they took width of the bowlers in a crucial position of 56, the highest of the day.
One hour before the day, there were no real signs of the carnage that was imminent. While Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott bit the new ball, that was no surprise, and Tom Abell's decision to hit after winning the pitch seemed perfectly reasonable.
Entering the final race of the games, Abbott's efforts for the season were clearly disappointing: starting in early August, he had 17 championship terrains at 40.47 and an economy rate of 11.5 in a handful of games. explosion.
But he has 24 wickets at 10.63 in the last three and one half first class games, and he looked like his old me here, lifting some balls abruptly off the pitch and finding a considerable movement out of the seam.
After losing his length several times in his first round, which was for 17, Abbott found the edge of Marcus Trescothick, before eliminating James Hildreth, Steven Davies, Lewis Gregory and Jamie Overton in a spell of four terrains for so many races in so many overs that covered the lunch interval; Gregory and Overton were unlucky enough to receive balls that barely rose when they bounced.
Ben Green, in his second appearance in the Championship, was the only Somerset hitter who seemed seated in the fold of his patient 26, and his wicket, crammed with an inswinger of the relentless Ian Holland – caused a collapse of 8 for 42.
Somerset may be offended by the lack of scrutiny surrounding this field after Taunton's furor in the game last week. It is expected that the decision of whether they will be scored points for that release will come before the start of next week's game against Surrey, but at that stage their hopes of title could have evaporated. A delivery of Jamie Overton here that caught Tom Alsop lbw playing without a shot suggested that the sewing movement on offer occasionally exceeded reasonable levels despite the comparative silence of the social media juries.