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Hampshire routed for 57 as title hopes fade on crazy 23-wicket day

Kent 165 (Compton 63, Abbott 4-46, Abbas 3-29, Barker 3-30) and 20 for 3 lead Hampshire 57 (Quinn 6-23) with 128 runs

Hampshire were outgunned for 57 in 87 minutes by Kent in a serious dent to their hopes of winning the LV= Insurance County Championship title for the first time since 1973.

Matt Quinn claimed six for 23 to pip Hampshire to their lowest first-class score at the Ageas Bowl and their worst total since 1984 – when they were bowled out for 56 against Kent at Canterbury in a showdown.

Hampshire’s fast bowling trident of Mohammad Abbas, Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker had all bowled Kent out for 165 on a green pitch which offered some, but not excessive, movement – yet conceded a 108-run deficit in the first innings.

Kent battled again in their second innings, reaching 20 for three at the close, but Hampshire – who started the round eight points behind leaders Surrey – knew their dreams of a third pennant were fading, despite gaining a point on Surrey during the day.

Quinn reflected: “It’s been an eventful day on a very bowler-friendly wicket. It was a hell of a partnership between Compton and Evison. It just shows how well Compton bowled today on that surface. He’s been phenomenal all year and we really needed him to step up today, the way he batted showed how good he is.

“It was a wicket where if you put the ball in the right area it does plenty. There was constant nip. On some wickets you get the odd ball that nips, but in this game it seemed to have five balls out of six who moved .

“I like to think I have bowled well all year and finally I have been rewarded. To get some wickets is a great relief. Bowling a side out for 57 is special and all bowlers will be looking forward to a tough season. We’ve been dreaming all year about knocking off a team like this all year.

James Vince had opted to poke Kent in and reduced them to 32 for five before Ben Compton hit 63 off 161 balls to provide a backbone in difficult circumstances.

What followed was cricket chaos.

Felix Organ was caught at second slip in the fifth over, Joe Weatherley chopped unconvincingly on his own stumps and Nick Gubbins followed one that angled across him behind.

Quinn had picked up Weatherley from the Rod Bransgrove Pavilion End, but switched to the Hilton End to remove Vince, Hampshire’s top scorer with 19, and Ian Holland in the same over – the former catching the inside edge and the latter pushing to first slip.

Ben Brown was bowled by a Nathan Gilchrist beauty before the last four wickets fell for just three runs – Barker chipped to mid-off, Aneurin Donald played on, Abbott caught at second slip and Abbas bowled.

It was the joint 45th lowest total in Hampshire’s history as they managed to see off just 101 deliveries.

To go with Quinn’s six-for, Gilchrist and Harry Podmore both posted two-fors.

Earlier, a Kent side truncated by Sam Billings, Jordan Cox, Matt Milnes, Grant Stewart, Zak Crawley and Joe Denly for all manner of injury, international and paternity reasons struggled to what looked to be a below-par 165 .

Tawanda Muyeye lasted just five balls into the game as he was a leg before Barker and it took Abbas just as long to take a wicket at the other end as Daniel Bell-Drummond edged behind to Donald – who went on to take the gloves despite the Browns returning to the XI.

Jack Leaning dampened the wicket-taking with a turgid eight off 57 balls but was bowled by Abbott who tried to work the ball into leg.

That began an innings of aggressive bowling by the South African fast bowler – backed by Holland, who bowled six straight maidens at the other end – which saw Ollie Robinson play on and Harry Finch lbw in successive balls.

Among the tumbling was the unflappable Compton, who never deliberately played a ball that wasn’t headed for his stumps in his 161-ball vigil. He had been in single figures for 36 balls and was happily settled at 18 for 36 dotted balls when he let the ball go soft.

Compton had started the season with three consecutive hundreds but had endured a demanding spell recently, failing to reach double figures in his last six Championship innings.

He reached his first half-century since early June in 141 balls during strong partnerships of 68 and 45 with Royal London Cup final hero Joey Evison and Harry Podmore.

Hampshire’s attack chipped away and broke through at regular intervals thereafter, with Abbott returning four for 46, Barker passing 50 wickets for the season with three for 30 and Abbas three for 29.

In Kent’s second innings, Compton was caught at first slip and nightwatchman Conor McKerr was caught behind, both to Abbas, and second nightwatchman Podmore was bowled by Holland. That meant 23 wickets had fallen in a dizzying day.

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