Warwickshire Match Crawls to a Draw

Report from Hampshire's Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston

Day One: 

Liam Dawson (116) scored his first Specsavers County Championship century of the season as Hampshire dominated Warwickshire on a hugely rewarding opening day at Edgbaston, finishing on 304-4 at stumps.

Will Smith’s (21) decision to bat first paid off as Dawson showed international class to help Hants claim three batting points, as Adam Wheater (89*) and Tom Alsop (50) added fine half-tons after Warwickshire reduced the visitors to 63-2 in the morning.

20-year-old Alsop continued to show promise and Adam Wheater continues to make ground with the bat after putting on 155 runs with Dawson and closing out a positive day's play alongside Mason Crane (1*).

Now firmly on top at the end of day one, the decision to bat was a good one, but Hampshire were pegged back at the start of the innings as Smith was trapped at lbw by Barker and Jimmy Adams (14) was caught by home skipper Bell.  

The opening pair made 35 runs together before Warwickshire claimed their first wicket, as captain Smith fell to Barker in the 15th over.

Adams faced 89 balls as he steadily accumulated 14 runs, but his patient play was unrewarded as Hampshire were dealt a second blow - the former captain was caught smartly off the bowling of Patel.

Alsop and Dawson went for lunch at 85-2 and then set the foundations for what could be a mammoth total for the visitors, approaching the afternoon session with real positivity and both finding the boundary immediately after the break to climb beyond 100.

The pair were neck-and-neck as they approached their respective half-tons, and it was the youngster who reached his fifty first, having hit six boundaries and one maximum off 100 balls.

Dawson’s limited-overs form has impressed national selectors, and short-format cricket was having its influence on his innings at Edgbaston, as he reached his half-ton off just 78 balls soon after.

An impressive 81-run partnership gave Hampshire the advantage in the contest and, when Alsop was removed by Poysden, taking the first wicket after lunch, Hampshire were 144-3 as Wheater joined Dawson.

Hampshire began to really assert their dominance at Edgbaston after tea, securing their first and second batting point, as Dawson and Wheater surpassed a 100-run stand.

Dawson scored his eighth first-class hundred and his first County Championship century of the season, taking 200 minutes and facing 169 balls to put Hampshire in the driving seat on day one. 

His 155-run partnership with Wheater was ended when he was trapped at lbw by Barker, and Hampshire were just one shy of 300 at the fall of their fourth wicket. Dawson's innings showed true versatility with the bat, able to score patiently and heavily, and adapting his style depending on the situation in the game.

Hampshire enter day two in a commanding position on 304-4 after 96 overs, after Mason Crane closed out a hugely positive day of batting for the visitors alongside Wheater, who has looked in fine form and looks set for his own century.

Day Two:

Adam Wheater (204*) surpassed his highest first-class score and compiled a double-ton against Warwickshire, as Hampshire posted 531 runs with the bat and finished day two by reducing the home side to 131-3, now trailing Hants by 400 runs in the Specsavers County Championship. 

Wheater reached 5,000 first-class runs, moments after Sean Ervine (75) had hit his 10,000th first-class run, as the pair put on a 144-run partnership mid-way through a memorable day for Hampshire.

Gareth Andrew (2-35) and Gareth Berg (1-34) further enhanced the visitors' position at the end of day two by removing Warwickshire's top order and restricting the home side - led by Jonathan Trott (59*) - to 131-3.

After a hugely positive day one for Hampshire, Wheater opened day two with his first Specsavers County Championship ton of 2016 off 147 balls, hitting 14 fours and 1 six.

Rain briefly interrupted Hampshire’s smart progress with the bat, but Wheater climbed to 140 before lunch, with Hants on 383-5 as Ervine replaced Mason Crane (22), who had helped the visitors secure a fourth batting point.

Hants went through the gears in the afternoon session, as the Hampshire batsmen accelerated towards record-breaking figures. They passed 400 and Wheater reached a lightning-quick 150 off 197 balls, taking advantage of the short boundary at Edgbaston.

26-year-old Wheater sped beyond his highest first-class score of 164, bumped along by Ervine, who was accumulating runs at an alarming rate to frustrate Warwickshire’s bowling attack.

Milestones were reached as Ervine surpassed 10,000 first-class runs, reaching 50 off 70 balls and taking the visitors to 500, emphasising Hants’ advantage in the game.

Hampshire were batting with real freedom as Wheater became the club’s fourth player to make a double-century at Edgbaston and hit his 5,000thfirst-class run, crossing the mark with his third maximum and 27th boundary.

After a completely one-sided start to the game, Warwickshire found a reply to Hampshire’s dominance through an exhausted Jeetan Patel - bowling his 48th over of the innings – who removed Ervine and McManus with consecutive deliveries.

Gareth Berg replaced McManus and hit his first ball to the boundary, but was trapped at lbw by Josh Poysden (4-85) who then took Andrew and Wheal with successive balls to end a terrific Hampshire innings on 531.

Andrew (2-35) and Berg (1-34) made an immediate impact with the ball and reduced Warwickshire to 11-2, as opener Andrew Umeed (0) and skipper Ian Bell (5) were bowled inside the first five overs.

Varun Chopra built 39 runs off 84 balls, but also fell to Andrew and Warwickshire - led by Jonathan Trott (59*) - still trail by 400 runs at stumps on day two.

Day Three:

Hampshire were left frustrated by the rain after no play was possible on day three of the Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Adam Wheater’s career-best knock of 204* and early wickets for the Hampshire seamers had helped the visitors into a strong position on day two, but their progress was thwarted by the bad weather.

Warwickshire will resume on 131-3 on the final day, 400 runs behind Hampshire’s first innings total. 

Day Four:

Hampshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston crawled to a draw after rain on day three effectively ended any chance of a positive result.

Resuming on the final day on 131-3 still 400 runs behind Hampshire’s first innings total, Warwickshire lost the important wicket of Jonathan Trott (68) early in the morning session.

It was always going to take something special to dismiss the former England batsman and it was Lewis McManus who produced a brilliant piece of glovework to stump Trott down the leg-side off the bowling of Gareth Berg.

However, with the final day offering only a pursuit of bonus, Sam Hain and Tim Ambrose added an unbroken 56 in 14 overs up to lunch.

The Warwickshire pair continued after lunch where they left off in the morning session and they took their partnership to 156 as Hain went into tea on 111 (194 balls, 15 fours, one six), his first century of the season, and Tim Ambrose on 61 (159 balls, six fours) his fourth half-century in successive championship innings.

Spinner Mason Crane picked up his first wickets of the match during the evening session to dismiss Tim Ambrose (104) & Sam Hain (135) and grab another bowling bonus point for the visitors, but it was at the earliest time possible of 4:50pm that the players shook hands as the match ended a draw with Hampshire taking 10 points back to the Ageas Bowl.