Hampshire convincingly defeated Warwickshire on day four of the Specsavers County Championship fixture at Edgbaston
Needing eight wickets to secure victory, a ruthless spell of bowling from the visitors saw them dismiss the Bears in just 32.5 overs, securing a comfortable 314-run win.
The hosts, who needed a further 382 runs at the start of the day to set-up an unlikely victory, struggled against an excellent bowling attack which saw five bowlers take wickets and four with at least a brace.
Hampshire, without captain James Vince (England duty) and Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane, showed why they are title contenders with contributions throughout the order.
Tom Alsop’s 150 on the opening day was supported by the bowling architects of Kyle Abbott (9-5-11-2), Keith Barker (12-2-23-2), Liam Dawson (13-6-16-2), Fidel Edwards (12.5-3-36-3) and Gareth Berg (7-3-16-1), who earned the visitors their second Specsavers County Championship victory of the season.
Warwickshire, who started the day on 44 for two, would have been buoyed by the early showery conditions, a far cry from the previous three days.
And following a 70-minute delay, there was glimmer of hope for the hosts, with 18 overs lost in the day.
But any optimism was immediately muted as Hampshire ripped their way through Warwickshire’s top order with four wickets in 13 overs before lunch.
First-class debutant Rob Yates (21) departed second ball of the morning, bowled by Edwards, with Abbott removing Adam Hose’s stumps (1) three overs later.
Night-watchman Craig Miles (1) was next to depart, a mere five balls after, bowled again by Edwards.
Liam Banks, who dug in for four off 30 balls, kick-started an early lunch when he was caught by Edwards at mid-on off the bowling of Liam Dawson.
But the break was no more than a breather as Hampshire returned in a similar relentless vein.
Former Warwickshire seamer Keith Barker trapped Alex Thomson LBW for 18 and bowled Henry Brookes for 0, with Berg’s LBW of Tim Ambrose sandwiched in the middle.
A tenth wicket partnership of 34, the highest of the Bears second innings, between Jeetan Patel (10) and Oliver Hannon-Dalby (17) offered a slight reprieve before the former edged behind to the wicket-keeper Alsop, to leave the Bears 109 all out.
Warwickshire batsman Dominic Sibley scored his sixth century in successive first-class matches but could not prevent Hampshire taking total control of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.
Sibley carried his bat through the Bears’ first innings for 109 (263 balls, nine fours) to add another to the three-figure scores he recorded in his previous five first-class games, against Leicestershire, Sussex, Kent, Surrey (for MCC) and Kent again.
The 23-year-old almost single-handedly staved off the follow on for Warwickshire, but Hampshire will still enter the final day well-placed to harvest their second championship win of the season.
They secured a first-innings lead of 121 and then batted aggressively second time round to pile pressure on the injury-ravaged home side. Rilee Rossouw (76, 46 balls), Oliver Soames (62, 57, on his championship debut) and Sam Northeast (55 not out, 56) enabled Hampshire to declare on 302 for five, setting the beleaguered home side 424 to win.
In 20 overs batting before the close, Warwickshire reached 42 for two, losing openers Sibley and Will Rhodes, and they have a massive rearguard action ahead of them on the final day.
After Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 184 for seven, they soon lost Henry Brookes, caught at slip off Joe Weatherley. Sibley and Jeetan Patel saw their side past the follow on figure before Gareth Berg dismissed Patel, caught behind, and bowled Olly Hannon-Dalby.
When Hampshire went in to bat again they showed immediate urgency and openers Soames and Weatherley (46, 75 balls, six sixes) added 102 in 18 overs before Soames pulled Craig Miles to mid-wicket.
Weatherley tickled Brookes leg-side to the wicketkeeper and Tom Alsop (25) was bowled, reverse-sweeping, by Patel, but Roussouw ruthlessly climbed into the struggling attack either side of tea. He struck four sixes and six fours to hurry the lead upwards with the objective of giving Hampshire’s bowlers plenty of time to get at the home batting before stumps.
Roussouw skied Hannon-Dalby to deep mid-wicket but, after Liam Dawson fell lbw to Patel, Northeast and Aneurin Donald added a perky 38 from 33 balls to set up an early declaration.
With 20 overs to bat, Warwickshire lost Sibley to the 17th ball of the innings when he edged Kyle Abbot to wicketkeeper Alsop. First-class debutant Rob Yates showed good composure in a high-pressure situation but Will Rhodes chipped Dawson to mid-wicket seven overs before the close.
A searing post-tea burst from South African paceman Kyle Abbott put Hampshire in total command against Warwickshire on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship clash at Edgbaston.
After Hampshire were lifted to a solid 354 by Tom Alsop’s classy, career-best 150 (317 balls, 23 fours), the home side’s reply advanced smoothly enough to 135 for three before Abbott’s blast of three wickets for four runs in eight balls.
Suddenly, the follow-on figure of 204 was far from a formality for Warwickshire and they still have work to do to reach it, having closed the second day on 184 for seven.
Against a rampant and raucous Hampshire side, the injury-ravaged Bears were left leaning heavily on Dominic Sibley. The former Surrey opener, who has scored centuries in each of his previous five first-class matches, went into stumps five short of another – unbeaten on 95 (215 balls, nine fours).
In the morning session, Hampshire added 63 to their overnight 291 for six. They advanced to 327 without further loss before Jeetan Patel took the last four wickets in 33 balls.
The Bears’ captain finished with six for 94, his 35th first-class haul of five-or-more wickets, after Gareth Berg fired back a fierce return catch, Alsop skied to mid-off, Abbott played on and former Warwickshire player Keith Barker edged behind.
In reply, Warwickshire lost three wickets in the afternoon session. Will Rhodes edged an excellent ball from Abbot to second slip where Joe Weatherley took a smart catch before debutant Rob Yates’ first first-class innings was ended by a ripper from Liam Dawson. Having opened his first-class account with a sumptuous cover-driven four off Abbott, Yates offered no stroke to Dawson’s second delivery only to see it turn in a long way to strike off-stump.
Sibley and Adam Hose began to retrench but, having added 40, were separated in the last over before tea when Fidel Edwards speared a yorker through Hose’s defence.
Liam Banks settled alongside Sibley to add 47 in 17 overs but then came Abbott’s purple patch – a textbook example of aggressive, straight fast-bowling. He bowled Banks through the gate then removed Alex Thomson, who offered no shot, and Tim Ambrose lbw with successive balls.
That left Warwickshire still 59 short of the follow on figure with four wickets left. Sibley and Craig Miles added 26 but Edwards, brought back fresh just before the close, had the latter caught at short leg.
Tom Alsop’s second first-class century lifted Hampshire to a solid 291 for six on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Hampshire were looking for leaders in their batting, having lost Aiden Markram and James Vince to international duty and seen India batsman Ajinkya Rahane’s debut delayed due to a BCCI player engagement.
Alsop, 23, rose to the challenge in polished fashion. After Hampshire chose to bat, he compiled a career-best unbeaten 131 (273 balls, 21 fours) to steer his side away from uncertain positions at 44 for two and 171 for five.
A depleted Warwickshire attack missing the injured Olly Stone, Liam Norwell and Ryan Sidebottom and the unavailable Chris Woakes, persevered well, led by the excellent Olly Hannon-Dalby (four for 58). But Hampshire got away from them in the final session when Alsop was joined by the aggressive Aneurin Donald (75, 56 balls, 12 fours, two sixes).
Hampshire had lost their openers in the first 16 overs. Joe Weatherley fell lbw to Hannon-Dalby in an excellent opening spell of 7-4-4-1 by the seamer and Oliver Soames tickled a leg-side delivery from Jeetan Patel to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
As Hannon-Dalby and Patel applied pressure, Alsop and Sam Northeast knuckled down to add 73 in 27 overs either side of lunch before the latter (22, 73 balls) played across a Hannon-Dalby in-ducker and was lbw.
When Rilee Rossouw skied Patel to Craig Miles at mid-off, Hampshire were wobbling at 122 for four. Liam Dawson was immediately fortunate to survive a run out appeal from Miles’ direct hit, but survive he did to add 49 with Alsop before lifting Hannon-Dalby to Rob Yates at point.
At 171 for five, the day was in the balance but former Glamorgan player Donald yanked it Hampshire’s way with a vivid counter-attack. He struck ten fours on his way to a 41-ball fifty and 75 out of a partnership of 84 with Alsop before slashing Hannon-Dalby to gully.
Hannon-Dalby was denied a richly-deserved five-for when Alsop, on 105, was dropped by Dominic Sibley at extra cover. Gareth Berg was also reprieved, on two, when Henry Brookes grassed a caught-and-bowled chance and, let off the hook somewhat, Hampshire will aim to crack on past 400 on the second day.
That would pile pressure on a Warwickshire top order missing the injured Sam Hain and Ian Bell and including 19-year-old Rob Yates on his first-class debut, and Adam Hose, back after a month out with a broken thumb.