Sam Hain’s second century in the match and Ben Mike and Jeetan Patel’s brave half-centuries handed Warwickshire an unlikely Specsavers County Championship draw against Hampshire.
Batsman Hain hadn’t scored a first-class hundred for three years coming into the match but after 129 not out in the first innings and 104 in the second appears to have found red-ball form.
He was brilliantly partnered by Leicestershire loanee Mike, who claimed his maiden half century, in a 120-run partnership, as they frustrated Hampshire before skipper Patel led another long partnership with fellow tailender Henry Brookes completed the incredible rear-guard performance.
The draw means Warwickshire edged further away from the relegation place, as they took 10 points from the match, while Hampshire’s title hopes took another huge dent despite a 13-point haul.
Hampshire had looked on course for their fourth Championship victory of the season as they needed seven wickets on the final day at the Ageas Bowl.
Abbott had taken three wickets in a galvanic evening period on day three, which accounted for both openers, Dominic Sibley and Will Rhodes, and nightwatchman Olly Stone.
And he almost began the final day in style as Sam Hain edged behind but was spilled by a diving Lewis McManus.
Six overs later, Abbott bowled Rob Yates while coming around the wicket to sneak between bat and pad.
In his next over, Adam Hose made the mistake of leaving a straight delivery from Abbott – that left the visitors 52 for five and Abbott with figures of five for 78, his fourth five-wicket haul of the season.
Hain, who had scored a century in the first innings, frustrated Hampshire with a 51-run stand with Tim Ambrose for the sixth wicket.
But Keith Barker was rewarded for accurate bowling in both innings against his former county as Ambrose edged to Ajinkya Rahane at second slip.
Hain passed 50 for the second time in the match in 77 balls as he teamed up with Mike for the seventh wicket.
They provided Hampshire an incredible amount of frustration as they battled through the entire afternoon session as the pair scored 120 in 40 overs, to hand the away side a glimmer of hope.
Hain reached his second hundred of the game, the first Warwickshire player to do so on the road since Ian Bell at Lancashire in 2004, in 188 balls – having not scored three figures in the Championship for three years prior to this match.
Mike moved to his personal best score of 68 not out, having reach his maiden half century in 89 balls.
But the Mike and Hain vigil ended when Ian Holland, with three overs still to bowl until the second new ball, found Mike’s outside edge to be caught behind.
Organ then found a ball to turn out the rough and into the stumps to finally dismiss Hain in the match.
But the second new ball didn’t hand Hampshire the wickets they desired as Patel crunched his first fifty since 2017, in 53 balls.
Patel, with Brookes, held their ground for almost two hours, and 27 overs, to put on 112 for the ninth wicket to secure the draw, with hands shaken with a ball to spare.
Sam Hain notched his first Specsavers County Championship hundred in three years but Warwickshire will need to bat out the last day to avoid defeat against Hampshire after
Highly rated batsman Hain needed 196 balls to reach the milestone for the first time since July 2016, which also came against Hampshire, before he eventually ended unbeaten on 129.
But after Hampshire darted with a 36 over second innings, they gave Warwickshire a target of 404 to win – and they suffered a nightmare start as Kyle Abbott claimed three wickets with the new ball to leave the visitors 31 for three.
The previous evening Gareth Berg had declared the morning session to be vital in Hampshire’s hopes of winning this game.
They needed seven Warwickshire first innings wickets quickly to move the match along, and claimed all seven mid-way through the afternoon session, with five coming in a frantic morning session.
Fidel Edwards struck in the 10th over of the day, the fourth with the fresh ball, when Adam Hose was lbw to an in-swinger, before Keith Barker had former teammate Tim Ambrose caught behind.
Gareth Berg and Lewis McManus teamed up twice in an over as both Ben Mike and Henry Brookes edged behind. Edwards then unearthed Jeetan Patel’s off stump.
The one stable constant was Hain, who had batted brilliantly with Rob Yates the previous day and continued that form with an intelligent knock.
Olly Stone added a classy 21 before he was run out by Ajinkya Rahane, while attempting a second run off a misfield, before Oliver Hannon-Dalby edged Felix Organ to first slip.
That meant Warwickshire were bowled out for 307 and 232 runs adrift of Hampshire’s first innings total of 539, but the hosts decided against enforcing the follow-on.
Instead, they gave their pace attack a rest and set about adding runs quickly.
It worked for 10 overs as openers Ian Holland and Organ ticked the score to 45 before they were both castled in consecutive balls, delivered by Hannon-Dalby and Jeetan Patel respectively.
Rahane and Rilee Rossouw followed quickly after, both at the hands of Hannon-Dalby, to leave Hampshire on 52 for four, with the lead only up to 284.
But Donald replicated his first innings eye-catching century with 41-ball half century – which saw a maximum over deep midwicket – during a 71-run stand with Sam Northeast.
Gareth Berg was stumped, Lewis McManus, after an entertaining 20, was caught at XX and Keith Barker edge behind before the declaration was made with Hampshire on 171 for eight.
Warwickshire were given a target of 404 to win the match with a minimum of 107 overs left in the game, 11 of which were bowled on a beautifully hot summer’s evening.
Abbott needed just 11 balls to find a ball to nip back into new England Lions call-up Sibley’s off stump.
The South African then had Rhodes caught low at second slip by Rahane and nightwatchman Stone bowled next ball to reach 41 scalps for the season.
Teenager Rob Yates fell nine runs of his maiden First-Class century as Warwickshire battled hard to eat into Hampshire’s huge first-innings total of 539.
Top order batsman Yates, who only signed his first professional deal last December, but showed maturity which belied his age to guide his side towards the follow-on target.
The 19-year-old academy graduate added a vital 142-run stand for the third wicket with fellow talented youngster Sam Hain, who collected his second Specsavers County Championship half-century of the season.
Earlier, Olly Stone had marked his return from almost seven months on the sidelines with a bone stress injury in his lower back with a five-wicket haul.
Stone, who had taken three wickets on his first day of action of the season helped wrap up the Hampshire tail in 20-morning overs.
Hampshire returned on 450 for six after an an extraordinary opening day which had seen Ian Holland and Aneurin Donald notch centuries.
The bright sunshine which had emblazoned the Ageas Bowl made way for overcast conditions on day two, although the wicket remained flat as Hampshire added 89 more runs.
Gareth Berg lasted five overs before he was castled by Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
Lewis McManus and Keith Barker, against his former county, added 60 for the eighth wicket, scoring 41 not out and 35 respectively.
But the final three wickets fell for six runs as Ben Mike had Barker caught at deep square leg before Stone had Kyle Abbott lbw and Fidel Edwards bounced out, caught at a moving gully, to claim figures of five for 93.
Warwickshire’s reply started poorly as Will Rhodes edged Kyle Abbott behind to leave the visitors 15 for one at lunch.
That became 39 for two when Division One’s highest run-maker Dom Sibley tamely chipped Abbott to cover.
With 350 runs still required to avoid the follow-on, and an uber-accurate and disciplined Hampshire bowling attack asserting plenty of pressure, Hain and Yates joined for a dogged partnership.
Attacking shots came at a premium throughout the afternoon session, with the run-rate barely touching two.
Solihull-born Yates, who has played for Warwickshire since their Under 10s, was handed two lives, on 35 and 45, as plenty of runs came through the slip cordon.
Yates broke into the first team during the Birmingham-based outfit’s Royal London One-Day Cup campaign and hasn’t been left out since.
He batted patiently to reach a half-century in 144 balls, beating his previous best score of 49 and appeared on course for three figures.
But he meekly fell for 91 when he struck part-time spinner Felix Organ to short midwicket.
Meanwhile, Hain passed his 3,000th Championship run before moving to his own fifty in 85-balls as he ended the day unbeaten on 67. Warwickshire on 198 for three, still 191 adrift of the follow-on and trailing by 341.
Day One – Stumps
Ian Holland scored his maiden First-Class century and Aneurin Donald reached three figures for the first time since joining Hampshire during the first day of their Specsavers County Championship fixture with Warwickshire.
American-born Australian Holland proved the glue to the Hampshire innings having been promoted to open, while housemate Donald provided the flair and fireworks.
The pair smashed an 82-year record for the fifth wicket for Hampshire, as they clubbed 262 together, beating the 235-stand between Gerry Hill and Donald Walker at Portsmouth in 1937.
Hampshire were also boosted by Sam Northeast’s half-century; on the day he was called up for the England Lions squad to face Australia A at Canterbury next weekend.
Warwickshire had elected to field without a toss on a green tinged wicket, under glorious blue skies.
They were able to call on Olly Stone for the first time this season.
Fast bowler Stone has been sidelined since January after picking up a bone stress injury in his lower back while on England duty in the West Indies.
After almost seven months out it only took 19 balls before he found himself back in the wicket-taking fold as he found Felix Organ’s outside edge, which flew to the second slip.
Stone didn’t take long to grab a second scalp as Indian Test star Ajinkya Rahane caressed a boundary first ball before nicking to Will Rhodes as first slip next ball.
With the ball nipping around, and Hampshire 31 for two, Northeast and Holland needed to rebuild.
And they did with a 98-run stand, which negated the new ball and built a strong foundation for the rest of the day’s play.
Northeast fell for 59, after a 54-ball fifty, soon after lunch when Oliver Hannon-Dalby produced a near-unplayable delivery to find an edge behind.
Rilee Rossouw provided a precursor to what was to come with a typically entertaining 34 before he was bowled off his pads by a spearing delivery from spinner Jeetan Patel.
From then on in it was Holland and Donald dominating the Warwickshire bowling.
Holland was boosted up the batting order to replace the out-of-form Oli Soames and Joe Weatherley, who has broken his ankle, as he returned to the side.
He was watchful to reach a 103-ball fifty and continued to climb to three figures while allowing the attacking to be done from the other end.
Holland, who rose to fame in Australia for winning reality cricket TV show Cricket Superstar, eased past his previous best of 58 before poaching a ton in 201 deliveries – bringing up the milestone with a deft sweep.
While Holland grafted for his runs, Donald looked at ease from ball one as he scored at a comfortable run-a-ball, picking up a half-century in 48-balls.
The 22-year-old Welshman, who joined from Glamorgan at the end of last year, then scored his first century since July 2016, his breakthrough double ton, in 103-balls.
But it was his next 20 balls which left the Ageas Bowl with a collective jaw-drop as he moved from 100 to 150 with sixes and boundaries galore.
Holland reached 143, as he showed some attacking intent before he edged Stone behind to end the mammoth partnership.
Donald failed to see out the day when he top edged the final ball of the day to deep square leg – he ended on 173 with five sixes and 21 fours from 143 balls. Hampshire closing on 450 for six.