Simon Harmer spins Essex to innings victory over Hampshire

The 30-year-old took 12 for 61 in the match as he claimed his fourth 10-wicket haul of his first-class career as Essex recorded their sixth win of the season


Chelmsford (second day of four): Essex 214 v Hampshire 118 & 88 - Essex win by an innings and eight runs


Simon Harmer claimed match figures of 12 for 61 as Essex annihilated Hampshire by an innings and eight runs – having bowled out the visitors for 118 and 88 inside five sessions.

Harmer, who collected analysis of five for 23 in the first innings, overwhelmed Hampshire once again by snatching seven for 38 – his third 10-wicket haul for the county, and fourth of his first-class career.

The spinner has now taken four five-wicket hauls in his six innings bowling at Chelmsford this season and has taken 42 scalps for the campaign – the highest in the country.

Essex, who have comfortably won all three of their Specsavers County Championship at home, move within seven points of Hampshire in second place in Division One, and boast a game in hand.

Essex had begun the day on 147 for three but were themselves bowled out before lunch, as they lost seven wickets for 67 runs, before Hampshire were given a tricky three over spell before lunch.

Only 17 balls of the three overs were bowled, though, before Tom Alsop was lbw to Jamie Porter, and after lunch the floodgates collapsed in catastrophic style for Hampshire.

India Test star Ajinkya Rahane was caught behind for a duck for the second time in the match to the first ball of the resumption – it was the first time he had been dismissed for a pair in first-class cricket in his career.

Off-spinner Harmer was then brought into the attack in the fourth over, originally to replace Sam Cook who was forced to walk off the ground with what appeared to be a back issue mid-way through his second over.

And he needed just five balls to have Sam Northeast stumped, the Hampshire stand-in captain losing his bearings after hitting into the ground.

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Rilee Rossouw aggressively swiped to point and Aneurin Donald swept to mid-wicket – both caught by Beard.

South African Harmer then completed his second five-for in the match when James Fuller was lbw and Keith Barker edged to Sir Alastair Cook at first slip in three balls – to leave Hampshire 32 for seven.

Opener Weatherley, who carried his bat for 29, and Abbott provided some respite with a 29-run stand for the eighth wicket, before the latter chipped to mid-off.

Harmer rounded off the victory as Mason Crane was caught in comedy style as Adam Wheater dropped the chance onto his own foot before kicking to Ryan ten Doeschate at short leg and Fidel Edwards was lbw.

Earlier, Essex batsmen Ravi Bopara and Dan Lawrence took their partnership to 105 runs, before the former was leg before to Fuller without playing a shot for a well-made 59.

Lawrence celebrated his second Championship half-century of the season from 108 deliveries before he was the first of Abbott’s four victims – as Hampshire began to assert huge pressure on the hosts.

Wheater, playing against his former county, and Harmer were Abbott’s next casualties as they were also struck on the pads in front.

Edwards grabbed two wickets in two balls as he knocked back Aaron Beard’s off stump with a yorker before ten Doeschate was caught behind by a full-length dive by Alsop.

Abbott ended the Essex innings when he had Sam Cook lbw – the seventh leg before of the innings, a Hampshire record – to end with figures of four for 54.

Courtesy of the ECB reporters network

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