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Kyle Abbott takes best first-class figures since 1956

Kyle Abbott takes best first-class figures since 1956
By Reuters

18/09/2019 at 19:03Updated 18/09/2019 at 19:58

Hampshire seamer Kyle Abbott took the best first-class match figures since Jim Laker's historic 19-90 Ashes performance way back in 1956.

South African Abbott took 9-40 and 8-46 to finish with 17-86 in his county's victory over title-chasing Somerset - a result that keeps Essex well and truly in the hunt for the First Division.

They were the best match figures for over 60 years, when off-spinner Laker took 9-37 in the first innings of an Ashes Test at Old Trafford, following up his first-innings showing with 10-53 in the second.

"It hasn't quite sunk in. It is pretty incredible. Yesterday I didn't think I'd take nine and I didn't think I'd take eight today," said the 32-year-old Abbott whose last test appearance for South Africa was in 2017.

"I reckon that is the best I can bowl."

Somerset dropped to second while Essex moved top of the standings after beating Surrey by an innings and 40 runs.

Somerset are 12 points behind Essex and the teams play each other in the last match of the championship, where at least 16 points are up for grabs, starting on Monday at Taunton.