FIDEL Edwards took five wickets and Sir Alastair Cook was dismissed twice in a day as Hampshire closed in on a big win against Essex in the Specsavers County Championship.

Edwards defied a lifeless Ageas Bowl wicket to claim his eighth Championship five-for and finish with 5-51, as his Essex were bowled out for 164 in reply to Hampshire's 525-8 declared, which included 169 for Sam Northeast.

James Vince enforced the follow on before Essex closed on 132-4, still 229 behind.

Essex began the penultimate day on 25-1, with Cook on 17.

The former England captain made a half-century before he was dismissed by Edwards and Kyle Abbott in the morning and evening sessions respectively.

Essex’s seam attack had toiled for just over a day and a half on what looked like a slow pitch, but there was enough in the wicket to keep Edwards, Abbott, Keith Barker and Gareth Berg interested.

Edwards had shown his intentions on the previous evening when he dislodged Nick Browne’s stumps in a shortened session.

But it was Abbott who burst through in the fourth over of the morning when he bowled Tom Westley around his legs.

Cook, England’s all-time highest run-scorer, reached a 78-ball half century with a powerful pull to the boundary.

But four balls later he became Abbott’s 150th Championship victim when he fell into Hampshire’s leg-side trap, flicking a straight delivery directly to Vince at short mid-wicket.

Dan Lawrence batted maturely for 31 before Edwards yorked him with the last ball before lunch.

Wickets fell regularly in the afternoon session.

Ryan ten Doeschate was perhaps a little unlucky to be lbw to Edwards, who splayed Simon Harmer's stumps with his next delivery before Jamie Porter blocked the hat-trick ball.

After batting for an hour with Ravi Bopara, Porter became Barker’s first victim for Hampshire for his new county.

The former Warwickshire left-armer had Porter and then Sam Cook lbw in successive overs.

With former Hampshire wicketkeeper Adam Wheater unable to bat due to a broken finger, Edwards concluded Essex's first innings by dislodging Matt Quinn’s middle stump.

Trailing by 361, Essex were asked to follow-on and collapsed once again, losing three wickets in nine overs.

Barker pinned Browne in the third over with the new ball and Cook edged Abbott to substitute wicketkeeper Lewis McManus – the match's sixth gloveman after Tom Alsop damaged his hand while keeping to Edwards in the morning session (Vince also kept wicket as a stand-in).

Abbott trapped Lawrence lbw to leave Essex 27-3.

Westley and Bopara added 67 before Edwards had the former caught behind.

Bopara, who unbeaten in the first innings, ended the day 60 not out having reached his half century in 57 balls.