County Championship: Hampshire beat Nottinghamshire to lead title race

Hampshire's Liam Dawson
Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson’s five-for was the fourth of his first-class career
LV= County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day three):
Hampshire 226 & 178: Vince 52; Patterson-White 5-41
Nottinghamshire 155 & 127: Duckett 33; Dawson 5-45, Organ 3-22
Hampshire (20 pts) beat Nottinghamshire (3 pts) by 122 runs

Hampshire moved to the top of the Division One table with a 122-run win over previous leaders Nottinghamshire.

Chasing a target of 250 at the Ageas Bowl, the visitors were bowled out for 127, with Liam Dawson (5-45) and Felix Organ (3-22) doing the main damage.

Liam Patterson-White earlier took a career-best 5-41 for Notts as Hampshire totalled 178 in their second innings.

They will be looking to secure their first title since 1973 when they face Lancashire at Aigburth next week.

The 20 points earned for the win put Hampshire four clear of second-placed Lancashire, who completed a 10-wicket victory over Somerset earlier in the day.

And they will remain top no matter whether Yorkshire or Warwickshire win at Headingley, where the home side need another 174 on the final day with seven wickets left following Tuesday’s washout.

When that game is completed, Notts will drop to fourth but remain in contention as they will be only 6.5 points behind Hampshire going into their home match against Yorkshire.

The final round of fixtures for all sides begins on Tuesday, 21 September.

Spin the deciding factor

Hampshire began day three on 133-7 and managed to add 45 valuable runs in 15 overs before they were finally dismissed.

All three wickets were taken by Patterson-White and the amount of turn he achieved was a warning of just how tough the run chase would be for the visitors.

Mohammad Abbas made the initial breakthrough as England opener Haseeb Hameed was caught at short leg by Organ for eight.

The Pakistan pace bowler then broke a stand of 44 between Ben Slater (25) and Ben Duckett (33) by having the latter leg-before playing across the line.

It was then that Dawson and Organ took over to run through the rest of the Notts batting line-up.

They slumped from 72-2 to 97-7, with Tom Moores dragging the ball into his own stumps as he tried to reverse sweep Organ’s off-spin.

Joey Evison became only the third batsman to reach double figures but Brett Hutton was bowled by Organ and Luke Fletcher fell lbw to Dawson to leave Hampshire just one wicket away five overs from the scheduled close.

Evison was last to go for 22 as he pushed forward defensively to Dawson and Nick Gubbins took a smart one-handed catch at silly mid-off, giving the left-arm spinner his first five-for since 2015.

The victory gives Hampshire an extra day off before T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday when they will try to complete the first leg of a potential double.

Hampshire skipper James Vince:

“It’s a magnificent win. There were contributions from everyone, I didn’t expect it to happen quite as quickly as it did, but we knew that the wicket wasn’t as flat as they can be here and was only getting worse. I actually thought 200 was enough, so anything more than that was a bonus.

“For ‘Daws’ to get a five-for and Felix with his wickets and his runs in the first innings you can pretty much mention everyone. It was a real team effort.

“I don’t know why it was different. With the heavy roller any indentations up the top get taken out, but there seemed to be a few more divots and marks and, at this time of year, the wickets, with the dew, are never quite as flat as you think they are.”

Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney:

“I don’t think we can fault any effort from the lads. At the toss they got it right, but a couple of decisions didn’t go our way.

“If I am honest it wasn’t a great pitch. Personally I thought it was unacceptable for a first-class game. We knew it was going to be a result pitch and Hampshire got it. But we are still in with a chance of winning the County Championship.

“If we look at it in isolation, we dropped five catches in their first innings and didn’t bowl great in the second half of their first innings. But ultimately we weren’t good enough and Hampshire deserved to win.”

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