Kyle Abbott claimed the fourth-best figures in County Championship history as his 17-wicket haul helped Hampshire stun title-chasing Somerset.

The former South Africa international followed up his first-innings figures of 9-40 at the Rose Bowl by taking 8-46 second time around, spurring his team to an emphatic 136-run win.

Abbott's stunning performance saw Somerset - chasing their first county title - bowled out for 144 after they were set 281 on the final day of the Division One fixture.

The 32-year-old's combined figures of 17-86 from 36.2 overs are a new record for Hampshire, while they are also the best match return by a bowler on English soil since Jim Laker's 19-90 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.

Abbott had also contributed 25 crucial runs with the bat in his side's second innings, sharing in a ninth-wicket stand worth 119 alongside James Vince, who made 142.

Whatever happens at Headingley and beyond, Marnus Labuschagne will struggle to ever forget his first innings in Ashes cricket.

The Australia batsman made history when becoming the first concussion sub as a replacement for Steve Smith on the final day of the second Test against England at Lord's. After ducking his first delivery from Jofra Archer, the next one struck him flush in the grille – Labuschagne was down (albeit not for long) but, crucially, not out.

Rising to his feet so quickly a boxing referee would barely have started counting to 10, the 25-year-old recovered his senses, survived the oncoming barrage of short stuff and came out the other side with a half-century, a valiant knock in trying circumstances that helped preserve his side's slender 1-0 series lead.

It was not the first time Labuschagne had capitalised on an unexpected chance that came his way, though.

When Shaun Marsh was selected in Australia’s squad for the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, Glamorgan had to find a new overseas player in a hurry.

Mark Wallace, relatively new into his role as director of cricket at the Welsh county, followed up on a tip-off from an old club colleague Down Under to fill the void, taking a "bit of a punt" on Labuschagne, a player with an unspectacular first-class record but a hunger to improve.

"The link between myself and Marnus is that we have played for the same grade club in Brisbane, which is Redlands Tigers, albeit I played 15 years before he did," Wallace explained to Omnisport.

"Our paths never crossed, but when I took on the job [in February] I received a text message from a lad I had played with out there called Blair Copeland who is now a coach. He said, 'if you're looking for an overseas player, there is a lad who plays at the club called Marnus Labuschagne'.  

"I'd heard of Marnus because he had played for Australia by then, but I probably thought this was more like the sort of thing where he [Blair] was one of his mates, so I said thank you and got on with things.

"But when Shaun Marsh was picked for the World Cup, we suddenly needed an overseas player. I went back and had a look at this guy, did a bit of digging around, and the message we kept getting about him was that he was a good player but he was going to be an influence around the dressing room and just wanted to play cricket, wanted to get better at the game, and that was what we were after.

"We wanted a different style of overseas player, someone who was young and hungry. We went for him and it worked out pretty well."

Pretty well is an understatement.

Labuschagne amassed 1,114 runs in 10 first-class games for Glamorgan, hitting five centuries. The first of them arrived on his County Championship debut, Northamptonshire the opponents, while there was a match-saving 182 to deny Sussex down by the seaside at Hove and then hundreds in both innings against Worcestershire towards the end of his stint.

"We weren't surprised because he's a good player – we just didn't know he was that good," Wallace admitted. "We haven't genuinely got a bad word to say about him. He just wanted to talk cricket, be involved in cricket and get better.

"It was a little bit of a punt, but we wanted someone different and all the feedback had been how this was a young, influential guy. He was just desperate to improve and county cricket really suited him.

"He just loved playing – with most overseas [players] the thing that strikes them when they come over is the amount we play, whereas with Marnus he just thought that was brilliant. It gave him the opportunity to play all the time, to practice all the time.

"He got a hundred in his first game and never took his foot off the gas after that."

Labuschagne's county performances boosted his Test prospects, yet he still appeared set for a watching brief during the Ashes. That was until Smith was struck by an Archer bouncer, a blow on the neck that created a ripple effect that seems set to be felt by both sides for the remainder of the series.

It also created a sudden opening in the middle order. Smith's stand-in received an early and emphatic wake-up call yet refused to be counted out of the contest, aided by a slight technical tweak to his game that was honed while playing with Glamorgan.

"He did a few things that I think he had developed from being over here," revealed Wallace.

"Marnus clicked with our coach, Matt Maynard, early on and they worked on something where he would take a step down the wicket, as well as over to the off stump. The aim is to take lbw out [of the equation] and you saw him do it a few times to Chris Woakes.

"It was good to see, because you spot something guys have done with you working then on the bigger stage, which for our young guys means they are thinking, 'crikey, Marnus has been working on something here that has transferred into a higher level'. That's great.

"He's very good at solving problems, too. He's so into the game that he's always trying to learn. He's desperate to do well, although all international cricketers are like that. But he's up for the scrap, up for the fight."

After doing an admirable job as a stand-in last time out, the super sub gets the chance to start in the third Test.

Australia head coach Justin Langer said in the build-up to the game in Leeds that Smith has "unfillable shoes" – he has contributed 32 per cent of his team's runs in the first two Tests (and that is without even making it out to the middle on day five at Lord's) and boasts a mind-bending career average of 63.24 in the longest format.

Wallace acknowledges it is a nigh on impossible for Labuschagne to fill the crate-like space left at number four, but expects him to embrace the challenge: "To put him in the same bracket as Steve Smith is just unfair – he is still a young guy making his way in Test cricket.

"But he will have a chance – and all sport is about to take that chance when you get it. He will be up for it and can probably have a positive effect on the series.

"We'd like to see him do well, albeit from our perspective we want England to win. Marnus getting a hundred and England winning by an innings would be perfect."

Glamorgan are hopeful they get the chance to bring Labuschagne back at some stage in the future – so long as they can afford him.

"We would like him to be part of the club long term – hopefully the price hasn't gone up!" Wallace joked.

"I've been speaking to him since he has been away with Australia and he's still in contact, still wishing us good luck. The day the Australia squad was announced I actually spoke to him in the morning, when he was going to meet Justin Langer to find out if he was in or not, and he was not entirely sure.

"We had a Twenty20 game that night, and he said that if he was not in the squad, could he play that evening. I said yes, because we hadn't cancelled his registration yet, but that just showed how he has that nice, childlike enthusiasm just to play the game."

Labuschagne's enthusiasm for the game was evident at Lord's. So, too, was his determination to seize an opportunity that had unexpectedly come his way. As Glamorgan will testify, he's good at doing that.

James Anderson provided an update on an injury sustained in action with Lancashire, handing England a boost ahead of the Ashes series against Australia.

England will look to reclaim the Urn from Australia in the upcoming five-Test showdown, with the first match scheduled to begin at Edgbaston on August 1.

Having been left out of England's Cricket World Cup squad, Anderson has been playing for Lancashire, though he was forced to bat with a runner on the final day of their County Championship clash against Durham on Wednesday after he was forced off due to a tight calf on the previous day.

But veteran paceman Anderson took to Instagram to share the news he is hopeful the injury – which he described as a "niggle" is nothing serious.

"The boys gave everything. Frustrating not to get the win," Anderson posted after the draw.  "Also annoying to pick up a niggle but hopefully not too serious."

Anderson's England team-mates progressed to the semi-finals of the World Cup on Wednesday thanks to a 119-run win over New Zealand.

Haseeb Hameed made his first County Championship century since 2016 to boost his hopes of earning an England recall for this year's Ashes.

The batsman was horribly out of form last season, averaging 9.7 as Lancashire suffered relegation in first-class cricket, but followed up a recent double century against Loughborough MCCU by passing three figures against Middlesex in his county's first Division Two fixture of 2019.

Hameed, who made his England debut in India in November 2016 aged 19 but suffered a finger injury in his third Test appearance, reached the milestone with a pulled six off paceman Toby Roland-Jones.

But the 22-year-old was dismissed for 117, caught and bowled by Dawid Malan after leading Lancashire towards a first-innings lead at Lord's.

Keaton Jennings, another England opener aiming to earn an Ashes chance this year, made 52 in a 123-run partnership with Hameed for the first wicket.

Paul Farbrace is to leave his position as England assistant coach after their tour of the Caribbean to take up the role as sporting director at Warwickshire.

The highly regarded coach is taking up a position left vacant by Ashley Giles, who departed Edgbaston to become managing director of England Men's Cricket.

Farbrace initially joined the England set-up as assistant to Peter Moores in 2014 having led Sri Lanka to World Twenty20 glory.

The timing of the 51-year-old's decision comes as somewhat of a surprise with a Cricket World Cup and a home Ashes series against Australia on the horizon in the coming months.

"I have had five fantastic years with England Cricket. It has been a brilliant experience working with world-class coaches, players and support staff," Farbrace, who will start with Warwickshire in March after England's T20I series against West Indies, told the ECB's official website.

"I have been fortunate to taste some genuine success and be part of the development of some excellent players, who have the world at their feet this summer.

"There is never a great time to leave an international set-up and despite what will be a fantastic summer for English cricket, the opportunity to shape the future of one of the game's biggest counties was too much to resist. 

"It would have been tough for me to have turned down the opportunity once Warwickshire showed an interest in me.

"Finally, I would like to thank the ECB, and in particular, Trevor Bayliss, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Ashley Giles for their support in what has been a difficult decision to make. 

"I wish them every success this summer. I believe they have the right attributes to create history by lifting the World Cup in July and winning The Ashes that follows it."

Alongside head coach Trevor Bayliss, who will not be renewing his own contract when it expires in September, Farbrace has been instrumental in turning around England's fortunes in white-ball cricket.

Four years ago, England were reeling from being knocked out of the World Cup group stages, but are now the number-one ranked ODI side.

"I would like to thank Paul for all his efforts over the last five years as a key figure in England's success across the red and white ball formats," Giles said.

"Paul was integral, alongside, Andrew Strauss, Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan, in transforming our white ball strategy, which has seen us become the best team in the world leading into a World Cup year.

"His efforts in developing players in the elite environment will benefit him in his new role at Edgbaston.

"I will now start the process to find a successor and work closely with our existing set-up to ensure we have everything in place ahead of a busy summer of international cricket."

Keshav Maharaj and Lancashire rescued a sensational County Championship tie at Somerset after claiming two wickets when the hosts needed just a single run for victory. 

Dale Steyn's groin problem should only rule him out of action for up to a fortnight, according to Cricket South Africa. 

Adil Rashid has Alastair Cook's sympathy due to the "political" debate surrounding his controversial recall to England’s Test squad.

Yorkshire have been put in a "crazy situation" after Adil Rashid, only contracted to play limited-overs cricket, was called up to the England Test side, according to director of coaching Martyn Moxon.

Jordan Clark flourished on day one of the Roses match by dismissing three of the world's best batsmen to claim a famous hat-trick and put Lancashire on top against fierce rivals Yorkshire.

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