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Abbott's 17-wicket haul dents Somerset title hopes

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(Reuters) – Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott picked up 17 wickets in a County Championship Division One match to help his side beat title-chasing Somerset by 136 runs on Wednesday.

South African Abbott took 9-40 and 8-46 to finish with 17-86 — the best figures in first-class cricket since England’s Jim Laker picked up all 10 wickets in an innings and match figures of 19-90 against Australia in Manchester in 1956.

Abbott’s were the fourth-best bowling figures in County Championship history and dented Somerset’s hopes of winning the title with one match left in the season.

“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.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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