LONDON – Discarded West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards grabbed two of the last six Essex wickets to help Hampshire complete an innings and 87-run victory in their Division 1 contest of the English County Championship today. Edwards finished with eight wickets in the match.
At the same time, Windies captain Jason Holder went wicketless, but held two catches, as Northamptonshire had to settle for a draw against Middlesex in Division 2, where another discarded Windies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul helped Derbyshire earn a 125-run victory over Durham.
At the Ageas Bowl, Edwards followed up a five-wicket haul in the first innings with three for 49 from 17 overs in the second innings and former South Africa fast bowler Kyle Abbott took five for 77 from 19.1 overs, as Essex were bowled out for 274 in their second innings on the final day of the opening round of matches, after being asked to follow on.
Edwards removed Netherlands star Ryan ten Doeschate for 36 and former South Africa off-spinner Steve Harmer 62 on the final day to end the match with eight for 100, as Hants shot to the top of the table with 24 points.
Edwards made the first strike of the day for Hampshire after Essex resumed from their overnight total of 132 for four when he removed ten Doeschate in the first hour following his stand of 64 for the fifth wicket with former England batsman Ravi Bopara.
Edwards and Hampshire were frustrated for close to two hours when Harmer and Bopara came together to add 111 for the sixth wicket either side of lunch.
Bopara reached his hundred before he was caught behind off Abbott for 107 that included 12 fours from 191 balls and occupied almost 4 ¾ hours to trigger a collapse that saw the visitors lose their last four wickets for five runs in 32 balls, including Harmer lbw to Edwards. The 37-year-old Edwards played the last of his 55 Tests seven years ago against Bangladesh at Khulna, took seven wickets in the match including a six-wicket first innings haul, and strangely was never selected to the regional side again.
At Wantage Road, Holder finished with the figures of 14-3-58-0, as England batsman Dawid Malan slammed an undefeated 160 to help Middlesex declare on 317 for four in their second innings, after the home team had forced them to follow on.
Holder did not get a second chance to bat, as Northants finished on 10 without loss in their second innings before the match drew to a close with the home team taking 12 points from the contest to start the season in third place.
At the Derby County Ground, Rampaul took two for 43 from 22 overs, as Durham were bowled out for 235 in their second innings, chasing 361 for victory.
Rampaul bowled Michael Richardson, the son of Dave Richardson, the former ICC Chief Executive and South Africa wicketkeeper/batsman, for five and dismissed tail-ender Matthew Salisbury for four, as the visitors crumbled after reaching 177 for three. The home team claimed 19 points in the match and start the season in second place. (CMC)