Report: Hampshire v Warwickshire, County Championship
Chris Rushworth decimated Hampshire to send Warwickshire top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One table with an innings and 84-run victory.
Fast bowler Rushworth, who arrived from Durham in the winter, claimed a devastating seven for 38, with match figures of 10 for 76.
Rushworth produced high-quality movement to slice up Hampshire’s batting line-up for 97, having been 35 for nine, and set up Warwickshire’s first victory at the Ageas Bowl since 2010.
The only thing that held up the win was a solo rearguard from James Vince – who scored 52 not out, including a 62-run last wicket stand with Mohammad Abbas.
Only Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh has taken more Championship wickets than Rushworth since 2010 – but he had only taken seven or more wickets in an innings three times before.
The hapless Felix Organ was lbw second ball – his average now tanking to seven this season – to give Hampshire their 19th single-figure opening partnership in 32 innings since the start of last season.
Nick Gubbins showed intent with 21 off 29 balls, Hampshire clearly keen to wipe off their 181-run deficit and make the game safe.
But the former Middlesex batter nicked behind before Chris Woakes joined the party to trap Fletcha Middleton plumb in front.
The mitigation for the first half of Hampshire’s collapse was a pitch that had spent a long time under covers, tied in with murky conditions with the lights on which helped swing bowling.
That excuse couldn’t be given as the innings progressed as the clouds blew away and blue skies appeared and the pitch returned to trend back towards the one which had become easier to bat on before the washed out day three.
Tom Prest dangled a bat to give Michael Burgess a sprawling catch and Ben Brown pushed one which bounced on him to first slip.
Liam Dawson scored an all-run four then lost his middle stump to a hooping in-swinger and Ian Holland was leg before when the ball stayed low.
Woakes struck with the second ball after lunch as Hampshire slumped to 34 for eight, as James Fuller edged off the shoulder of his bat to first slip.
Rushworth has history at the Ageas Bowl. In 2015 he took a hat-trick across three overs and had a useful average of 14.
He returned from the interval to notch his 10th wicket of the match, Kyle Abbott edging behind as Hampshire lost eight wickets for just nine runs.
Captain James Vince, who scored an unbeaten 75 in the first innings, had watched aghast at his team’s capitulation. He proved it was possible to survive and score runs.
He blocked with grit, while occasionally angrily slapping through the covers or swatting a pull to the boundary. His half-century came in 83 balls as he totted up 53.6 per cent of his team’s second innings runs.
At the other end, Abbas claimed his first runs of 2023 and marched past his previous Hampshire best of eight.
The fact Abbas faced more balls (48) than only Vince summed up how badly his team-mates had failed – the Pakistani was eventually extracted when he wildly swung down the wicket to be stumped.
Earlier, Warwickshire declared on 410 for eight having added 46 runs in just under 40 minutes – with Abbas taking all three wickets to fall.
Ed Barnard only added four runs having been stuck on 91 for over 40 hours due to Saturday’s rain. He returned to the dressing room having been caught behind attempting to turn the ball into the leg side.
Chris Woakes drove to mid off and Michael Burgess fell off 88 when he edged behind, as Warwickshire scored quickly and gave themselves plenty of time to bowl out Hampshire.
It proved plenty of time having seen off the hosts at 3.05pm.
Warwickshire fast bowler Chris Rushworth: “Yesterday was frustrating but the way the lads went out and batted this morning to get up to a 180 lead pretty quickly was great. We changed what we were going to do and batted it a bit longer when we saw the conditions were overcast and suited bowling.
“We just wanted to get the ball as quickly as possible and luckily enough that first session couldn’t have gone any better. Sometimes as a bowler you have those days were everything seems to go right. Everything I was trying to do came out and they just nicked them. It was one of those spells were the lads caught them and the umpires gave them out.
“It was a bloody good day to get the win and now we can enjoy a beer in the sun. Me and Woakes stood there at the end and just said ‘good job we had that amazing session this morning or it would have been tough work this afternoon’.
“To blow the top order away like we did and then get that last one at the end was a fantastic end to a great game. This attack is one of the best I’ve been a part of, and I’ve been fortunate to play in some very good ones up at Durham in the past. To have that depth and have someone like Hasan Ali resting up back at home it just shows how good the group we have is.
“If we keep taking poles and the lads score some runs then there is no reason why we can’t keep winning games of cricket.
“I love it here. It was a big decision to move and come down here but I couldn’t have picked a better club. It is a good set of lads and terrific coaching staff. The fact we are playing good cricket makes everything even better.”
Warwickshire and Ed Barnard endured a frustrating day as rain prevented any play on day three of their LV=Insurance County Championship fixture with Hampshire.
The covers stay on at the Ageas Bowl all day due to the incessant rain – with play eventually waved off by umpires Alex Wharf and Russell Warren at 3pm.
For all-rounder Barnard, he was forced to sit and wait with his score on a nervous 91 – nine shy of his maiden century for Warwickshire, having moved from Worcestershire over the winter.
For Warwickshire, they dominated the first two days – having bowled Hampshire out for a much below-par 229 on day one before batting through the second day to reach 364 for five.
That gave them a lead of 135, and possibly more importantly following the wash out, a third batting bonus point.
They still hold out a slim chance of victory on the final day. If they manage to score quick runs they should be able to put pressure on Hampshire’s brittle batting with their strong bowling attack. In particular, they’ll take positives from taking eight wickets in the afternoon session on day one.
Hampshire’s hope will be that the pitch continues to slow down, as it did on the second day, although a route to victory seems highly unlikely.
Despite the unlikely chance of action, the Hampshire players and staff stood on the balcony to sing the National Anthem at 11am as scheduled to mark the Coronation of King Charles.
Sam Hain passed fifty for the third time in five innings this season as Warwickshire continued to dominate Hampshire in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Hain began the season with centuries against Kent and Somerset and returned to form after a quiet match against Surrey with a faultless 85.
Hampshire had found hope with three wickets in a truncated morning session to fashion a collapse from 83 without loss to 95 for three but half-centuries for Alex Davies, Ed Barnard, and Michael Burgess accompanied Hain.
Barnard, in particular, ground the hosts down to end the day on a stylish unbeaten 91, Burgess partnered him on 60 and Warwickshire on 364 for five, a lead of 135 – although forecast rain on Saturday may thwart their chances of victory.
Hain’s stock has been rising for several years, having burst onto the scene with a double century in his debut season in 2015 – where he averaged over 50.
His run tallies in the previous three Championship seasons – 914 in 2019, 881 in 2021, and 1,137 in 2022 when only Keaton Jennings and Ben Compton totted up more Division One runs – prove he is no flash in the pan.
Against Hampshire’s Keith Barker-less attack, he found a perfect adagio tempo where he carefully went about his work, having arrived at the crease in the middle of a top-order hiccup.
Rob Yates and Alex Davies had negotiated the day one evening session flawlessly to compile 82 runs but were separated within three legal deliveries of the morning when Yates lobbed a caught and bowled back at Kyle Abbott.
Davies reached his 44th first-class fifty with a slap through the covers, his 90th delivery, but perished three balls later when Mohammad Abbas nipped one back into his pads.
Only seven overs were possible before lunch but only 13 runs were scored, with Will Rhodes becoming the third victim – leg before to Abbott.
Hain settled things after lunch. For large periods you wouldn’t notice him, and then he’d force your attention with an impeccably timed shot.
His cover drive to take him to a 110-ball fifty was the absolute highlight, however.
Hong Kong-born, Australian-raised Hain, who will be 28 in July, captained England Lions in Sri Lanka during the winter, while a hamstring injury scuppered his chance to train with the Test squad in the UAE before the tour to Pakistan. He instead busied himself at the Big Bash.
A bolter call-up for the Ashes is unlikely, despite his form, with just Josh Bohannon ahead of him in the Division One scoring charts this season. He has 382 runs at an average of 95.5.
Mousley stuck with him for just over an hour and a half in a 69-run stand before he was lbw swinging across the line to Ian Holland.
Holland also produced a rare misjudgment from Hain to be caught behind – a decision which appeared to disappoint the batter.
Barnard had put on 86 with Hain, as Warwickshire strode into a first-innings lead and to a batting point, and reached his maiden half-century for the county after his winter move from Worcestershire.
At which point more intent was shown, with a third bonus point in sight – something they achieved with five balls to spare.
Michael Burgess was dropped at deep square leg before aggressively reaching his fifty in 70 balls, while Barnard soured from 43 in 90 balls to 91 in 138 by close.
Warwickshire batter Sam Hain: “I feel like we’re in a strong position.
“I’ve played Hampshire a few times and been on the receiving end of how good Abbas and Abbott are, plus James Fuller. They have a good bowling side so we knew we had to bat well.
“Credit goes to Barnard and Burgess to get that extra batting point, and hopefully we can come back tomorrow and see Ed get to three figures.
“Ed’s knock was very controlled. How he played and his tempo is something that is quite cool to bat with. Having played against him I know how talented he is and what an incredible signing he is. It might be a sleepless night for him, but he is cool calm and collected.
“I was annoyed to do all the hard work, I always try to put a high price on my wicket, so to get out the way I did and when it happened was frustrating.
“It was nice to spend some time in the middle. I feel like I’m batting nicely at the moment but it is a long season so I’m staying very level.
“This team is playing very selfless cricket and it has put us in positions to win games of cricket. We’ll see how much cricket we lose tomorrow but day four could be a deciding day. We need to get the runs on the board but I fully believe in this incredible bowling attack – they are capable of special things.”
Warwickshire took control on the opening of their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Chris Woakes and Chris Rushworth both claimed three wickets each, with Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Ed Barnard supplementing them in Pakistani overseas Hasan Ali’s rested absence.
Their successes provided Hampshire’s downfall as they slipped from 83 for one to 109 for six before being bowled out for 229. In response, Warwickshire reached 82 without loss at close, with Alex Davies leading the charge with 46 not out.
Hampshire’s brittle batting was the Achilles heal in their failed LV=Insurance County Championship title challenge last season and it could further extend their 50-year wait for another crown.
Opening batter Felix Organ is beginning to run out of chances after he was bowled shouldering his arms at Rushworth for one – after Hampshire had chosen to bat first. It took his average for the season under 10, with pressure coming from the Second XI. Toby Albert notched 231 and 63, and Joe Weatherley also struck a ton in the clash against Kent 2nd XI this week.
In contrast, Fletcha Middleton has taken to first-class cricket strongly. He scored twin half-centuries in the previous match at the Ageas Bowl and again comfortably dealt with the new ball. He partnered with Nick Gubbins in a 74-run stand.
Woakes is attempting to talk Ben Stokes into an England recall ahead of the Ashes, and his miserly first spell of five overs for just two runs would be a good conversation starter. The meat of the chat would include his second spell and how he angled a delivery across Gubbins that was caught at first slip, via a second slip chested parry.
And then his punchline might include the stunning away seamer that clipped Middleton’s outside edge, for an unlucky 49. He also picked up a hooking Ian Holland in his third spell to return three for 45, which included his 550th first-class wicket.
Hannon-Dalby chimed in to pin Tom Prest lbw before Rushworth ploughed into Ben Brown and Liam Dawson’s pads in one prolific over. Hampshire had lost five wickets in 69 deliveries for just 26 runs
Amongst this Vince survived, and after a short 28-run stand with Holland, navigated with the tail. He added 49 runs with James Fuller, 31 with Kyle Abbott, and 12 with Mohammad Abbas.
His innings saw his usual array of drives as he reached his half-century in 72 balls, before targeting mid-wicket and long on for three lusty sixes with his partners dwindling – Barnard picking up the final two scalps.
Hampshire often lean on Abbas and Abbott to bullishly pull them back into matches after below-par scores. On this occasion Rob Yates and Alex Davies prevented them.
The Warwickshire openers already have centuries this season and serenely navigated the evening session. Davies was by far the more aggressive as he reached 46, with Yates ending the day on 26 off 104 balls.
Warwickshire fast bowler Chris Woakes: “A good day all round. To bowl them out for 228 and then to be 82 for none at the close is a great day. We have done a good job of what we had to do today.
“Gubbins was a big wicket. He’s a good player and when good players get in on good wickets then they are difficult to get out. If at lunch you had told us we would have bowled them out at tea then I would have bitten your hand off. It was a good effort from the bowling unit to do that.
“We are very fortunate to have a good attack out and that’s without Hasan. We have guys to come in as well which is a real luxury. We all worked well as a unit.
“It is great to see guys do really well and have those stand-out performances but when you are working well as a unit it is good for the team that everyone is chipping in with wickets. It means everyone is confident they can do a job when asked to. There will be a time when people get rewarded with five-fors.
“I felt better from the far end which was strange as the breeze was going against the way I wanted to swing it but I did feel really good in that second spell. I found a bit of rhythm and felt more attacking.
“I am enjoying playing. This was always part of the plan after missing last season. It is a big summer with the Ashes and a World Cup at the end of it, and you don’t want to peak too soon but at the same time I want to give myself the best chance of being in that Ashes squad.
“I love playing for Warwickshire as well. I’m not here trying to put in performances for my own benefit of playing for England. I want to win games here as well.”
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