Bears send Hampshire down as they close on title

Warwickshire 493 Hampshire 324 & 43-3

Stephen Brenkley
Thursday 15 September 2011 00:00
Comments
Hampshire's Liam Dawson carried his bat, but his county were still relegated
Hampshire's Liam Dawson carried his bat, but his county were still relegated

To win the County Championship today for the seventh time, Warwickshire need first to take seven more wickets. That alone may not be quite enough because they must do so bearing in mind that their lead over Hampshire is 126 runs.

The clock on the season is running out. But it is unlikely to reach 5.30pm today, the scheduled finishing time, before Warwickshire have their victory and the pennant. Although the pitch remains benign, Hampshire appear to have nothing left in the tank or in their hearts.

Warwickshire played with élan yesterday, taking wickets when they most needed them and holding on to some splendid catches. They were undoubtedly helped by their opponents, some of whose batsmen failed to show the necessary resolve.

Hampshire's relegation from the First Division was confirmed when they failed to secure maximum batting points and they compounded this by falling 20 runs short of avoiding the follow-on. And this despite the fact that Liam Dawson, in scoring the third century of his career and second of the season, carried his bat.

Had but one of his colleagues displayed his canny stoicism – there really was no rush – they might yet have been playing for more than pride. Dawson's unbeaten 152 contained 10 fours and no strokes that will lodge in the memory. But it was a noble effort for all that, free both of style and errors.

Warwickshire's progress was uneven, but the three wickets they took in the first session were probably crucial. Chris Wright, who worked up a head of steam occasionally, made the breakthrough and Chris Metters, enjoying an improbably fruitful first season, took a wicket in his first over.

There was a brief period after lunch when Hampshire sallied. James Vince played breezily, demonstrating that it was possible, albeit briefly, to up the ante on this surface. But he pulled to deep midwicket, and then Metters, a left-arm seamer who converted to spin, took matters into his own hands with two wickets in four balls.

There was a touch of belated concern when Hampshire thumped it towards the end but Rikki Clarke, with his 39th catch of the season – a record since the Championship went to two divisions – ended the innings.

Hampshire's second bash began limply, Metters again making a double incision in the same over with William Porterfield snaffling another smart catch round the corner.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in