Katich and Crawley lead Hampshire run spree

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The Independent Online

Simon Katich and John Crawley led Hampshire to their highest ever National League score and gave their Second Division title hopes a boost at Taunton.

Opener Katich hit 106 off just 88 balls while the captain, Crawley, contributed a fluent 92 to a massive score of 335 for 6, the best ever made against Somerset in the competition at their County Ground.

It was all too much for the home side, who slumped to 2 for 2 in reply before Keith Parsons (46) and Ian Blackwell (43) helped them to 219 all out in a 116-run defeat, Shaun Udal returning 3 for 36.

The home side were never remotely in the hunt after losing openers Jamie Cox and Carl Gazzard in the first two overs of their reply.

Blackwell and Keith Dutch (36) threw the bat to take the score to 75, while Parsons produced a more controlled innings that never threatened Hampshire's domination.

Earlier, Katich and James Hamblin put together an opening stand of 63 in 10 overs after Hampshire had won the toss. It ended when Hamblin was taken at short fine-leg by Blackwell off Nixon McLean for 20.

Derek Kenway made 35 at almost a run a ball before miscuing a Steffan Jones full toss to Dutch at mid-wicket.

Crawley then came in and proceeded to play an almost flawless innings, scoring at a deceptively rapid rate.

Katich finally fell when he drove a Gary Gilder full toss to Jones at mid-on, but Crawley found another in-form partner in John Francis, who hit a 39-ball fifty in helping to add 96 for the fourth wicket.

McLean was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with 3 for 51. The Hampshire total included six penalty runs for a slow over-rate by Somerset.