James bonds leaking ship

Hampshire 204 and 189 Somerset 159 and 225 Hampshire win by 9 runs
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On an uncharitably cold day at May's Bounty, the Hampshire supporters were kept warm by some inspired left-arm seam bowling by Kevan James. He took 8 for 49, his best figures, in Somerset's second innings and finished the match with 13 for 93.

At just above medium pace - his wicketkeeper likes to stand up close to the stumps - his natural inswing caused the difficulty and he also found movement off the seam. He pitched the ball up and attacked the stumps in a masterful display.

Somerset, needing 235, looked to be winning when Piran Holloway and Keith Parsons, who combined straight-batted defence with a good array of strokes when the bowling erred, put on 112 in 28 overs. Their concentration was as excellent as their off-driving. James had removed Mark Lathwell and Richard Harden during the morning and was always the most likely of the Hampshire bowlers on an awkward pitch which was slow with a low bounce. Strangely, James had to wait until half an hour into the afternoon session for his second spell. The score stood at 175 for 3 after Parsons had picked up James over mid-wicket for four. In trying to repeat the stroke later in the over, he was caught at mid-on.

James had a hand in the next six wickets. First he held a low catch at cover when Robert Turner square-cut the off-spinner Shaun Udal, who was also under-used. At 195, Graham Rose drove James to mid-off and this started a spell of 34 balls that brought James five wickets for 16 runs. Andre van Troost was out first ball when he charged and was stumped. Mushtaq Ahmed did his best to stay with Holloway, who had batted nearly three and a half hours in the first innings for 73 not out and this time occupied the crease for 256 minutes.

The score had reached 207 when Mushtaq pushed forward to James and was caught at short-leg off bat and pad. Andy Caddick hit two straight drives for four before trying a third and skying to mid-on. Kevin Shine playing against his old county, helped Holloway add six for the last wicket before Holloway tried to run James down to third-man and was caught behind.