Somerset battling to save the game at Hampshire


Sean Dickson and Andy Umeed shared an unbeaten third wicket stand of 64 on day three as Somerset battled to save this LV= Insurance County Championship match at the Ageas Bowl.

Earlier in the day Nick Gubbins struck 139 not out, his highest score for Hampsire since joining from Middlesex, as the hosts turned the screw.

Together with half centuries from Fletcha Middleton and James Vince, Gubbins led Hampshire to a 501-run lead.

Facing a minimum of 128 overs to bat out, the visitors slipped to 38 for two but Dickson’s unbeaten 63 helped Somerset to 102 for two at the close, 400 still required to win.

Hampshire openers Toby Albert and Middleton had scored 45 runs in 23 overs the previous evening, but their lack of adventure paid dividends, having taken much of the lacquer off the ball. They batted with more intent as they took their partnership to 80 with little fuss, with Middleton reaching his fourth fifty in his debut season.

They both fell within four overs of each other, Middleton bowled by Jack Brooks two balls after reaching the milestone and Albert was caught and bowled by New Zealander Neil Wagner, on his Somerset debut.

Gubbins had been incredibly slow, on an even slow pitch, in the first innings to take his seasonal strike rate to the third lowest in Division One but this time around he showed an attacking flair, taking part in a cover-drive battle with Vince as he reached 50 in 81 balls. The 135 balls his subsequent century came in, were the fastest of his sixth tons for Hampshire.

Lewis Gregory, although on the pitch, was not used at all on day three, while fellow opening bowler Jack Brooks only bowled five overs before the declaration.

Vince, whose 50 came in 66 balls, was brilliantly caught behind by James Rew, diving full length to his right, off Wagner to end a 162-run stand, but Tom Prest continued where he left off to continue the flow of runs with Gubbins. The pair added 79 together before the long-awaited declaration came at tea.

Liam Dawson had Tom Lammonby stumped with his third delivery and then Tom Abell edged James Fuller to Vince at second slip.

Dickson and Umeed showed grit, determination and tenacity to take the visitors to the close of play with Dickson reacing his half-century in 86 balls.