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Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 15:11 UK

Somerset scenting innings victory

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Taunton:
CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY THREE: Somerset 510, Hampshire 264 and 122-3 (Somerset 8 pts, Hampshire 5 pts)


10-13 July 2009 (Play starts 1100 BST)


Michael Carberry

Only Hampshire opener Michael Carberry stood between Somerset and a three-day County Championship victory at Taunton.

Carberry hit 123 as Hampshire collapsed from 89-0 to 264 all out, paceman David Stiff taking a career-best 5-91.

The visitors fared little better when they batted again, reaching the close on 122-3, with Carberry gone for 51.

Hampshire now need another 124 with seven second-innings wickets intact on the final day to save themselves from an innings defeat.

But Stiff's efforts, well backed by Arul Suppiah who claimed two wickets in both Hampshire innings, have put Division One title hopefuls Somerset in a strong position to claim a fourth successive Championship win.

Hampshire began the day on 83 without loss and Carberry on 49, looking in commanding form. But, although he carried on in the same vein with a string of powerful shots all around the wicket, the opener lacked any support.

He lost partner Jimmy Adams to a sharp catch at second slip by Marcus Trescothick off Charl Willoughby with the total on 89.

And, although Michael Lumb started positively he then carelessly picked out Suppiah at point.

John Crawley, returning after a month out with a damaged finger, looked out of form before Stiff found his edge and Liam Dawson followed for a duck in similar fashion.

Left-arm spinner Suppiah dismissed Sean Ervine to a diving catch by James Hildreth at cover to make it 185-5. And, in the last over before lunch, Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas played an irresponsible drive at Stiff to give Trescothick a third-slip catch.

Hildreth took another fine catch to send back Nic Pothas off Stiff, after the wicketkeeper-batsman had come in with a runner as a result of a groin injury. Then Carberry's fine 153-ball innings, featuring a six and 20 fours, came to an end with a mis-timed pull off Stiff.

Trescothick pouched another catch at midwicket to account for Chris Tremlett. But there was some late resistance from last man Imran Tahir, who hit a six and six fours in his 33.

Justin Langer had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on. And the highlight was Adams being pinned lbw by an Andy Caddick yorker, the 40-year-old former England seamer's first wicket of the season after fitness problems.



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