County Championship: Essex bowl Hampshire out for 88 to complete innings win
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day two):|
|Hampshire 118 Harmer 5-23 & 88: Harmer 7-38|
|Essex 214: Bopara 59, Lawrence 57; Abbott 4-54|
|Essex (20 pts) beat Hampshire (3 pts) by an innings and eight runs|
Essex crushed Hampshire inside two days in a dramatic few hours at Chelmsford, where 17 wickets tumbled before tea.
After Essex were bowled out for 214, they skittled their opponents for 88 to win by an innings and eight runs, with Simon Harmer claiming seven wickets.
Division One's leading wicket-taker finished with match figures of 12-61.
Hampshire had been 32-7 and heading for their lowest total against Essex before Joe Weatherley and Kyle Abbott took them beyond the 54 they made in 1931.
Despite some resistance from Weatherley, who carried his bat for 29 not out, and the lower order, it was still a humiliating defeat for second-placed Hants.
Having only batted for 63.5 overs across two innings, they are now just seven points ahead of Essex, who climb to third.
Essex, beaten by an innings by Hampshire in this season's opening game back in April, had themselves collapsed from 169-3 in the morning session, losing their last seven wickets for 45 runs to take a first-innings lead of 96.
But it proved to be more than enough of an advantage as, other than Weatherley, none of Hampshire's top eight batsmen made more than four.
Harmer ripped through the middle order after Jamie Porter had removed opener Tom Alsop and Ajinkya Rahane first ball, to complete the first 'pair' of the India batsman's career, after his second-ball duck the previous day.
The spinner was helped by reckless shots from the Hampshire players including stand-in skipper Sam Northeast, who was stumped, and Rilee Rossouw, who sliced his second ball straight to third man.
Abbott counter-attacked on his way to 18 before he too was out needlessly, guiding Aaron Beard straight to mid-off.
Mason Crane (20) then became Harmer's sixth victim thanks to some incredible footwork by Adam Wheater. The former Hampshire wicketkeeper dropped Crane's edge behind but somehow kicked the ball to Ryan ten Doeschate at short leg who held on to a simple chance.
Four balls later, Harmer finished the game by pinning Fidel Edwards lbw to move to 42 wickets for the season, having completed his fourth 10-wicket match haul at Chelmsford and second in successive home matches.
Essex spinner Simon Harmer:
"In retrospect, we didn't think it would be over in a day and a half but it is another massive win for us.
"Chelmsford always turns on days thee and four but this one turned from day one. They could have played better than they did. They should have been more circumspect.
"There was turn and bounce with the new ball. But they needed to be more patient before taking me on. When it flattened out it would have been easier.
"Rahane is from the sub-continent so I would have been his bread and butter, so that was an important wicket us to get."
Hampshire head coach Adi Birrell:
"We had four overs to bat before lunch and lost a wicket straight away, Ajinkya got a first baller, so we were on the back foot right from the start.
"It wasn't impossible to bat. Harmer bowls fairly well but the ball wasn't turning square. And Joe Weatherley batted through. He applied himself and just needed someone to bat through with him.
"It is a painful and hurtful result. We have had a talk in the dressing room nd we have to take it on the chin. Hopefully it is a defeat in isolation. We can't afford to let this affect us.
"It was a very bad two days. We had three wins and a couple of draws and it had been okay up until now. "We are not proud of what happened but we can't fall in a heap. We need to get back onto the horse."