Hampshire v Leicestershire: Hosts ease to victory in promotion push

LV= County Championship Division Two, Ageas Bowl

Hampshire 497-8d beat Leicestershire 303 & 160

Leicestershire 5pts; Hampshire 24pts

Match scorecard

Hampshire boosted their promotion chances with an an innings and 34-run victory over Leicestershire despite a half century from Josh Cobb.

The hosts declared overnight on 497-8, a lead of 194, and proceeded to reduce Leicestershire to 67-6 by lunch.

Cobb (50 not out) and Alex Wyatt, who scored a career best 32, shared a 42-run partnership for the last wicket.

However, Matt Coles and Sean Ervine both claimed three wickets as Division Two's bottom side were all out for 160.

Victory moved second-placed Hampshire 32 points clear of Surrey in third.

Leicestershire, who announced earlier in the day that all-rounder Shiv Thakor had signed a two-year contract with Derbyshire, have now gone 29 matches since their last Championship win in 2012.

Leicestershire captain Josh Cobb:

"It makes no difference what I do individually if it doesn't help the team.

"In the last couple of days, with the first session we have set the tone for the day. It cost us yesterday from a bowling point of view, we were woeful in the first session today losing six wickets, it is difficult coming back from that.

"The confidence within the team is not the best and there are a few off-field issues that might be having an effect.

"There is a lot of talent in the team, some way, somehow, someone needs to find a way of bringing it out in the squad."

BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James:

"The Hampshire seam bowlers got far more out of the Ageas Bowl pitch than their opponents.

"But Leicestershire also were not helped by news of players leaving and strong reports of impending departures too.

"These maximum points gained will, in all probability, prove enough for Hampshire as they seek to return to Division One after a three-year absence.

"Indeed, captain Jimmy Adams now talks of the possibility of winning the division."

BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae:

"Well though Hampshire's seamers bowled in extracting bounce and movement from a previously benign pitch, there was a feeling of inevitability about the manner in which Leicestershire subsided to another heavy defeat, their eighth in the last 10 championship matches.

"The Foxes are finding it impossible to break the pattern of starting matches well only to fall away on the third and fourth days, and it is hard to see them doing so before the season ends.

"There were positives, notably in the batting of Angus Robson and, in the second innings, of Josh Cobb, along with the pace generated by bowler Atif Sheikh on his debut.

"But the players looked distracted by continuing speculation about the future of the likes of Cobb, Ned Eckersley, Greg Smith and Nathan Buck, and badly need a positive statement from the club regarding overseas signings for next season."