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Press Association and ESPNcricinfo staff
May 21, 2014
Hampshire 332 (Vince 70, Buck 5-84) and 338 for 9 dec. (Coles 83) beat Leicestershire 296 (Sarwan 60, Tomlinson 4-49) and 96 (Briggs 4-13, Coles 3-24) by 278 runs
Matt Coles starred with bat and ball as Hampshire returned to the top of Division Two by skittling Leicestershire for just 96 on the final day at Grace Road to complete a comprehensive 278-run win.
Coles, who joined Hampshire initially on loan in the second half of last season, plundered 30 more runs in quick time the final morning, then claimed 3 for 24 with the ball as the Foxes slipped to a first defeat of the season with the kind of batting collapse that blighted their 2013.
Hampshire had briefly been replaced at the top of the table when Worcestershire completed a three-day victory over Essex on Tuesday, but leapfrogged their promotion rivals after claiming 22 points from this match.
Leading by 342 overnight, Hampshire elected to bat on first thing on Wednesday morning, Coles striking some lusty blows to extend his tally to 83 - his highest first-class score since 2012 - and the lead to 374 before being stumped by Niall O'Brien off the bowling of Jigar Naik.
That prompted visiting captain Jimmy Adams to declare, setting the Foxes 375 for victory from a minimum of 91 overs but more realistically the task of batting out the day for a draw. But they could manage only 31.4 overs as Danny Briggs took four wickets in his first Championship appearance of the season.
Leicestershire took 21 from the first two overs but were quickly in trouble as Kyle Abbott struck twice in as many balls at the start of his second over. Angus Robson edged behind for a duck to a delivery that rose sharply, then South African Abbott trapped Ned Eckersley leg before first ball.
Leicestershire captain Ramnaresh Sarwan made 15 before being deceived by James Tomlinson's change of angle - the left-armer coming around the wicket and pinning Sarwan lbw.
Briggs extracted sharp turn from the slowing fourth-day wicket - one ball spinning past first slip for byes - before Josh Cobb missed one coming forward to fall lbw for four.
Coles then wrecked any remaining ambition the home side might have harboured by taking two wickets in the last over before lunch. First O'Brien fell to a brilliant return catch by the bowler, then Rob Taylor became the fourth player to be out for a duck in the innings when his thin edge down the leg side was taken by tumbling wicketkeeper Michael Bates.
The procession of wickets continued after the break; Coles snaring opener Smith lbw for 39 and Briggs having Naik caught at second slip by James Vince.
England left-arm spinner Briggs then bowled Anthony Ireland and Nathan Buck to wrap up proceedings and finish with figures of 4 for 13, leaving Leicestershire winless in the Championship since September 2012.
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