Day 1 report from Utilita Bowl - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Kyle Abbott became Utilita Bowl’s greatest-ever wicket-taker as Hampshire produced a brilliant display of bowling against Surrey in the Vitality County Championship.

Fast bowler Abbott overtook Dimi Mascarenhas’ 186 scalps at the ground as his predatory post-lunch spell of five for 25 put him on 188 home wickets since initially arriving in 2014.

The South African was supplemented by Liam Dawson’s three for 21 as Surrey were all out for 127 – although with the warning that they have recovered from 15 for four to beat Worcestershire last week. In reply, Hampshire ground out 102 for one.

A relatively even morning session was headlined by Dawson picking off Surrey’s distinguished top-order, after the visitors had chosen to bat first on a used pitch.

The left-arm spinner entered the attack in the 10th over and stuck after just four deliveries, as Dom Sibley returned a simple caught and bowled.

After a missed chance to stump Rory Burns, Ollie Pope attempted to pump Dawson over long-on but mistimed to Keith Barker at mid-on to hand the all-rounder his 300th first-class wicket for Hampshire.

His 301st came soon after when Burns turned to short leg, before Jamie Smith ended the morning session by having his stumps rearranged by debutant Michael Neser – the Australian coming in for Mohammed Abbas, who has returned home.

The interval score of 89 for four slightly flattered the hosts, but when they returned, Abbott got his tail up and dismissed the middle and lower order.

It was really Felix Organ who got things rolling, as he snatched a wonderful diving catch at square-leg to dismiss Dan Lawrence. But from then on it was peak Abbott and his skilful bowling.

He nipped in to displace Foakes’ middle stump, before another in-ducker found Jordan Clark’s outside edge for a duck. At that point, Abbott had taken three wickets without conceding a run after lunch.

Abbott overtook Mascarenhas by getting a ball to lift on Sean Abbott, and then completed his 38th five-wicket haul of his career by cleaning up Gus Atkinson. All five wickets had come in a 34-ball burst.

Neser rounded off the innings by pegging back Cam Steel’s off stump to end a Surrey collapse which had seen seven wickets fall for 38 runs. It was their lowest total since the last innings of last season – which came on this ground having secured the title the day before.

The grey skies that had partnered Surrey’s innings were replaced by blue ones as Fletcha Middleton and Toby Albert built a 51-run stand for the first wicket.

The duo took little risk, with dot balls comprising of 85 per cent of their partnership, but were split when Middleton tickled a sweep shot behind to Smith, taking a spectacular catch down the leg whilst keeping in place of Foakes, who missed out due to a back spasm.

Albert, in his first 100 balls, only scored 19 runs, and ended the day with a barely quicker 34 off 139 – having put on 51 with Nick Gubbins.