Kyle Abbott registered his best bowling figures of the season as Hampshire completed a 114-run victory over Worcestershire in the Specsavers County Championship relegation battle at Blackfinch New Road.

The South African paceman ended with 6-39 from 14 overs as Worcestershire, who resumed on 120-8, were dismissed for 133.

Abbott claimed one of the two remaining wickets to fall as he followed up yesterday’s first hat-trick of his career to finish with eight wickets in the game.

Hampshire’s third win of the season earned them 19 points and lifted them above Lancashire into fifth spot.

It enabled them to complete a double over their opponents and was the perfect response after last week’s hammering by an innings and 52 runs against current champions Essex at Chelmsford.

Their experienced international pace trio of Abbott, Dale Steyn and Fidel Edwards were a handful throughout for the home batsmen in seamer-friendly conditions.

Ball dominated bat throughout with the only half century of the game registered by Hampshire wicket-keeper Tom Alsop.

Whilst Hampshire have significantly boosted their hopes of survival, Worcestershire are now facing an uphill task to avoid an instant return to Division Two after back to back defeats.

They picked up only three bowling bonus points from this game and remain in bottom spot.

The challenge to survive does not get any easier as champions elect Surrey head to Blackfinch New Road next week ahead of a visit to Essex and the final game of the campaign at home to Yorkshire.

Worcestershire resumed on 120-8 with Ross Whiteley unbeaten on 37 and Wayne Parnell 17 not out.

A cover drive for four by Parnell against Steyn brought up the half century stand.

But Abbott’s first delivery of the day accounted for Whiteley who was beaten all ends up and bowled without addition to his overnight score.

Parnell and last man Dillon Pennington hung around for nine overs.

But it was Steyn who ended proceedings when Parnell on 26 nicked through to Jimmy Adams at second slip.

Hampshire first team coach Craig White said: “It was a great effort.  The first morning, we knew it was going to be tough so to get 190 was a good effort and then to bowl them out and take a 70 run lead into our second innings was crucial.

“The partnership between Alsop and Dawson in our second innings was fantastic and then Abbott’s spell last night sort of cracked things open for us.

“There were a lot of key performances and it was generally a great team effort. Everyone chipped in.

“When it was ebbing and flowing in our second innings and we were losing wickets, we thought if we could scrape 200 we would have a great chance.

“The Alsop-Dawson partnership just took the game out of their reach.

“You play a brilliant game like we did against Nottinghamshire, you perform like we did against Essex and then like we did today. It is so up and down.

“But when we are on form, we know we can match anyone.”

Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp said: “In many ways it has been a close encounter. I just think that probably we didn’t start the game as well as we would have liked to have done.

“I think the first hour and a half, with the overcast conditions and a misty morning, I don’t think it quite happened and we didn’t challenge as well as we could with the ball generally in that period.

“Also we dropped a couple of chances as well and this year, overall, one of the differences has been that we have put down one or two catches at vital times to key players and that has sometimes cost us a little bit.

“That is not through lack of preparation or effort or anything like that. It has happened and if we had caught a couple of catches early on the first morning, Hampshire, like in all the other three innings, could have been 20-4 quite easily.

“Maybe they would have been 70 runs less in their first innings and the game would have been so, so close.”