'Astonishing' cricket moment that hasn't been seen in 63 years

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

South African bowler Kyle Abbott has stunned the cricket world with the best first-class figures in 63 years.

The Hampshire bowler picked up 17 wickets in a County Championship Division One match to help his side beat title-chasing Somerset by 136 runs on Wednesday.

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.

Kyle Abbott celebrates the wicket of George Bartlett. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Abbott's were the best bowling figures ever for Hampshire and the fourth-best in County Championship history.

His efforts also 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,” the 32-year-old said.

“Yesterday I didn't think I'd take nine and I didn't think I'd take eight today.

"I reckon that is the best I can bowl."

Kyle Abbott walks off after taking 17 wickets. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Abbott was a Test star for South Africa until he defected to County cricket in 2017.

Under cricket’s Kolpak rules, players are no longer to represent South Africa if they play in the County championship.

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.

Best match figures in County Championship:

  • 17-48 C Blythe, Kent v Northamptonshire 1907

  • 17-56 C Parker, Gloucestershire v Essex 1925

  • 17-67 A Freeman, Kent v Sussex 1922

  • 17-86 K Abbott, Hampshire v Somerset 2019

  • 17-89 WG Grace, Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire 1877

  • 17-89 F Matthews, Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire 1923

with agencies