Hampshire’s opening day of their County Championship contest against Warwickshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy overnight rain causing an extremely wet outfield.
Despite the best efforts of the groundstaff, any prospects of play were abandoned after the umpires’ inspection at 3pm even though no rain fell for most of the day.
The forecast looks better for the rest of the week, so there will be play on day two, which begins at 10:30am tomorrow, with Hampshire looking to end their season with a victory.
Fidel Edwards claimed his second five-wicket haul of the season but Hampshire stumbled in their reply on day two of their County Championship tie with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Edwards (5-49) cleaned up the tail with a supern display of fast bowling as Warwickshire were dismissed for 188 in their first innings, despite a battling knock from Dominic Sibley (92*).
In reply, George Bailey (55) raced to a crucial half-century, but Hampshire were bowled out for 116, with the hosts ending the day on 0-0, with a lead of 72 in their second innings.
Hampshire made a fantastic start with Liam Banks (1) run-out and Jonathan Trott (0) edging to slip in Kyle Abbott’s first over of the game to reduce Warwickshire to 1-2.
The seamer (2-5) claimed another prized scalp in his next over, with Ian Bell (0) misjudging a ball and being clean bowled whilst offering no shot as Hampshire promptly earned their first bowling point.
The fantastic start continued as the hosts slipped to 12-4 when Edwards sent Matthew Lamb’s (6) leg-stump cartwheeling away with another beautiful delivery.
Edwards has been in good form in recent weeks, and showed what he is capable of when he clean bowled Tim Ambrose (6) with a fierce, inswinging yorker as Warwickshire collapsed to 28-5.
Sibley remained at the crease as the wickets tumbled around him, and he moved to a stubborn half-century off 100 balls, whilst also bringing up the fifty partnership alongside Alex Thomson as the hosts progressed onto 79-5 at lunch.
The pair then successfully moved their side into three figures shortly after the interval, but Gareth Berg (1-30) soon found the edge of Thomson (26) with Vince taking a reaction catch to end the 80-run stand.
Jeetan Patel (14) played a lively innings, but it was short-lived when he pulled Liam Dawson (1-20) straight to Ian Holland at mid-wicket to reduce the hosts to 127-7.
Chris Wright (26) hit as succession of boundaries to move his side past 150, but he edged behind in Edwards’ second over of his spell as Warwickshire were reduced to 166-8.
A momentum of controversy followed, as Sibley, who was on 90 not out at the time, appeared to pick out the man in the deep off Crane, but after standing his ground, the decision was not out.
Edwards was fired up, and he cleaned up both Oliver Hannon-Dalby (4) & Ryan Sidebottom (2) in the space of five balls to pick up a deserved five-wicket haul as Warwickshire were dismissed for 188.
Hampshire got off to a tricky start, losing three wickets in the space of 21 deliveries as the visitors fell to 13-3 in the seventh over.
The experienced duo of Sean Ervine and Bailey came together, and soaked up the pressure from the opening bowlers Sidebottom and Wright.
However, Hannon-Dalby (4-29) was introduced into the attach and reduced the visitors to 51-4, with Ervine (16) trapped in front.
Bailey was motoring along, playing some excellent shots, and the captain moved to a significant half-century off just 44 balls.
Bailey (55) pushed his side into three figures, but his eye-catching innings concluded when he feathered behind to Ambrose off Hannon-Dalby as Hampshire moved to to 102-8.
Patel then wrapped up the innings, picking up the final two wickets, as Hampshire were dismissed for 116.
Just eight balls were possible in the Warwickshire reply before the umpires deemed it was too dark for any possible play, with the hosts finishing on 0-0 in their second innings.
Gareth Berg led the Hampshire bowling attack on day three as the visitors set up a tense final day in their County Championship clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Berg (3-40) picked up two wickets to help dismiss the hosts for 186 in their second innings, whilst there were also wickets for Fidel Edwards, Kyle Abbott and Ian Holland.
In reply, Tom Alsop (6*) & Sean Ervine (2*) guided Hampshire to 20-1 before the bad rain forced play to be abandoned, with the visitors needing a further 239 runs for victory on the final day.
Edwards (2-62) claimed the early scalp of Liam Banks (14), before Holland dismissed the resistant Dominic Sibley (13) for the first time in the match to leave Warwickshire on 41-2 early on.
Jonathan Trott (20) guided his side’s lead into three figures, but his innings came to an end when Berg lured him into an edge, with Alsop taking his third catch of the innings.
Berg turned the game on its head in the space of four deliveries, wrapping Matthew Lamb (0) on the pads before Tim Ambrose (0) was caught by Adams in the slips as Warwickshire slipped to 65-5.
Alex Thomson (24) moved the away-side's lead beyond 150, but wickets continued to fall with the hosts on 95-7, after Abbott (2-45) bowled both him and Jeetan Patel (0) in consecutive deliveries either side of lunch.
Chris Wright (11) looked to occupy the crease but was emphatically run out by George Bailey before Oliver Hannon-Dalby (9) saw his middle stump removed from the ground to reduce Warwickshire to 127-9.
Ian Bell remained at the crease throughout, and moved the lead into 200 with a maximum to move to an important half-century.
The former England batsman showed good intent and brought up the fifty partnership for the final wicket alongside Ryan Sidebottom (13).
The tail-ender was trapped in front by Holland (2-21) as Warwickshire were dismissed for 186, setting Hampshire 259 runs for victory.
Tom Alsop and Jimmy Adams (4) made a watchful start to proceedings seeing off the new ball before the latter edged to Sibley in Hannon-Dalby’s first over to reduce the visitors to 18-1.
Alsop and Ervine guided Hampshire to 20-1 at tea, before the rain started to fall and the persistent bad weather meant that no play was possible in the evening session.
Hampshire secured their Division One status for the 2018 season after gaining a draw on a gripping final day of their County Championship tie with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
James Vince, Liam Dawson, Ian Holland, Gareth Berg and Kyle Abbott batted for most of the afternoon and evening sessions to guide their side to 195-7 at the close after a display of grit and determination with the bat.
After a delayed start due to a wet outfield, Sean Ervine and Tom Alsop made a watchful yet positive start to proceedings, punishing any loose deliveries with intent, moving the target under 200 runs.
The left-handed duo negotiated conditions well, bringing up the 50 partnership but Ervine (26) fell the very next ball, feathering behind a fantastic delivery from Sidebottom.
Two further wickets then fell in quick succession at the hands of Jeetan Patel (2-30) as the visitors made a difficult start to the afternoon session at 72-4.
Vince and Dawson steadied the ship with an extremely watchful and stubborn partnership, moving their side into three figures as the pair looked to rebuild.
The Hampshire duo dug deep after the loss of early wickets, putting on an unbroken stand of 41 runs for the fifth wicket in 28.5 overs, moving their side onto 113-4 at the tea break.
Dawson’s 94-ball resistance came to an end ten balls into the evening session, with the all-rounder well-caught by Tim Ambrose behind the stumps.
Vince remained resolute, with his stay at the crease moving beyond two hours, and the visitors continued to see out the remaining overs with confidence.
Holland was just as watchful, as the pair negotiated the Warwickshire attack despite the home side's bowling attack searching for a breakthrough.
The partnership was eventually broken in the 67th over of the innings, when Sidebottom and Ambrose again combined to dismiss Vince (30) who occupied the crease for just short of three hours to leave the visitors on 124-6.
Holland and Berg then progressed Hampshire beyond 150 and the pair continued to show grit and determination throughout the innings, dealing with no matter what was thrown at them.
Warwickshire opted to take the new ball with just eight overs remaining in the final session of the season, with Hampshire’s hopes of survival going down to the last 48 deliveries of the campaign.
Berg (34) then crunched two quickfire boundaries to bring up the fifty partnership alongside Holland, but was then bowled by Hannon-Dalby (2-33) with 14 deliveries remaining in the game.
However, Holland and Abbott successfully saw out the final deliveries to secure the draw and with it, Hampshire’s Division One status.