Report: Warwickshire v Northamptonshire, County Championship
Michael Burgess hit an unbeaten 78 as part of a 52-run ninth-wicket stand with Olly Hannon-Dalby as Warwickshire sealed a two-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Edgbaston.
The home side overcame a top-order implosion caused by a hat-trick by Ben Sanderson (five for 42) to chase down an artificially created target of 176 in 60 overs.
They lurched to 24 for five following Sanderson’s hat-trick, but sixth-wicket pair Burgess (78 not out from 128 balls) and Ed Barnard (41, 71) added 70 and Burgess batted with skill and composure to see his side home in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand with Hannon-Dalby.
Needing a win to preserve any realistic hopes of survival, the visitors had to accept any equation offered to them on the last day of the rain-affected match. Warwickshire demanded a generous 176 from 60 and vindicated their caution by collapsing early on, but recovered to record a win that pretty much buries Northants. Jon Sadler’s side is not mathematically relegated but needs a highly unlikely combination of maximum-point wins from their last two games (Surrey and Essex) and Kent or Middlesex collecting no points at all.
Delivering the agreed target required a morning of faffing about. Warwickshire declared 103 behind and then opened the bowling with wicketkeeper Burgess. Hassan Azad (30, 70 balls) and Emilio Gay (31, 65) enjoyed an outdoor net to add 72 in 22.3 overs before the declaration arrived ten minutes before lunch.
With their side’s recent top order travails in mind, Warwickshire’s supporters were taking nothing for granted and duly saw the top five depart for a combined 20 runs in 10.2 overs. Kraigg Brathwaite’s unproductive start to his Warwickshire career (42 in four innings) continued when Jack White clipped his off-stump and Sanderson then delivered a masterclass of an over.
It brought a hat-trick of the highest quality. Outswingers to left and right-handers respectively saw Will Rhodes caught at first slip and Sam Hain bowled off stump. Dan Mousley, evidently taken by surprise by the clatter as he took a long time to arrive, was soon trudging straight back after edging the hat-trick ball to third slip. When Rob Yates edged Sanderson to first slip, Warwickshire were 24 for five and in disarray.
Barnard and Burgess restored order as the pressure lifted after the opening bowlers came off and the pitch eased in the afternoon sunshine. Barnard fell lbw, sweeping, to Rob Keogh in the last over before tea, but a flurry of fours from Danny Briggs (24, 22) provided vital impetus. Sanderson returned to trap Briggs lbw and when Craig Miles top-edged a hook, number ten Hannon-Dalby went in with the last two wickets needing to find 52.
While the tail-ender dug in deep, Burgess passed an 89-ball half-century and went on to manage the chase perfectly in a high-class innings which culminated in his third six, the winning hit.
First Team Coach Mark Robinson said: “We didn’t want to chase more than that because we knew from the three days we have played the ball has gone past the bat a lot. They have got an excellent opening bowling partnership so we knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“From 20 for five you don’t win many games so it was an excellent comeback. Burgy and Barny batted really well and then suddenly we were eight down but Burgy is still there batting beautifully and Olly comes in with his great character and great heart. He takes his batting so seriously and stuck in there while we got over the line.
“I feel for Northamptonshire who are like us this time last year, giving it everything to try to stay up. They showed a lot of heart and bowled really well, especially Sanderson and White.
“For us I think that is a big win and an important win. After what happened in the semi-final and then at The Oval last week, to win a game of cricket was great. We know how hard four-day games are to win and how hard last-day chases are to pull off but we got there.”
Northamptonshire’s Division One status hangs by a thread after the third day of their LV= Insurance County Championship visit to Warwickshire was washed out.
Relentless drizzle from a leaden Birmingham sky left Edgbaston sodden and the match frozen in only its second innings – Warwickshire on 142 for four in reply to 250 – with just one day left.
Northamptonshire’s frustration only increased as, while they watch the drizzle fall on the Second City, there was play in Canterbury and Kent took advantage by overpowering Nottinghamshire.
The visitors need to deliver something spectacular on the final day against a Warwickshire side which can, if they wish, bat without taking risks in pursuit of bonus points.
Northamptonshire fought back hard after Olly Hannon-Dalby’s career-best bowling put Warwickshire on top on the second day of their LV= Insurance County Championship tussle at Edgbaston.
Hannon-Dalby’s superb seven for 46 sent the visitors all out for just 250 in a match they must win to preserve any realistic hopes of avoiding relegation.
That total looks a little under par but Jack White (three for 37) then led a big-hearted effort from Northamptonshire’s bowlers who made the home batters work very hard to reach 142 for four from 55 overs in reply.
The match remains in the balance on a pitch which has assisted the seamers throughout. Hannon-Dalby will be on a hat-trick in the second innings when he will be hunting the three wickets he needs to reach 100 in two seasons – he is now on 44 this year to add to last season’s 53.
After resuming on the second morning on 200 for five, Northamptonshire lost two wickets to the new ball as Saif Zaib edged Hannon-Dalby behind and Lewis McManus’ 97-minute resistance for 25 was ended by an outswinger by Chris Rushworth.
Hannon-Dalby then polished off the tail. Tom Taylor edged to second slip before Simon Kerrigan fell lbw and White played on next ball. When Northamptonshire bat again, for the third time in 27 days, Hannon-Dalby will start his next bowl on a hat trick.
Warwickshire also found run-gathering an arduous business. Kraigg Brathwaite, on his home debut, eked nine from 58 minutes before edging a lifter from White. Rob Yates prised 23 from nearly two hours before slicing Luke Procter to second slip.
Will Rhodes (44, 92 balls) produced the most assertive batting of the day before skying White to third man. Sam Hain, on his last county appearance of the season following his England call-up, collected a workmanlike 30 that is unlikely to figure in his memoirs then was trapped in front by the impressive White.
Fifth-wicket pair Dan Mousley and Ed Barnard survived intact, albeit while adding to the considerable number of play-and-misses in this match, but a strong first hour tomorrow morning would pour belief into Northamptonshire’s bid for a great escape.
Hannon-Dalby said: “It’s always nice to get a career-best. I think I probably bowled better on the first day than I did today, but it often works like that in bowling, you often get your rewards in the day after or the game after.
“We said last night we had got our rewards late in the day and we wanted to carry that on straight away this morning. We did it because the way Briggsy and Milo started this morning was absolutely brilliant. That set the tone and it was a good effort on a good pitch to get them out for 250.
“It would have been nicer to get them out for 249, but to keep them to 250 was a really good effort. Now we’ve just got to try to get a good lead and put them under some pressure in the second half of the match.
“I’ll be starting on a hat-trick in the second innings. It happened a couple of times in the 50-over comp and I was close with play-and-misses from the first ball of the next game so hopefully first ball next innings, something special might happen.”
Olly Hannon-Dalby carried Warwickshire’s bowling attack as Northamptonshire gritted their way to 200 for five on a weather-affected opening day of their LV= Insurance County Champions match at Edgbaston.
The visitors, put in, advanced to 171 for two as Emilio Gay (77, 146 balls) and debutant Karun Nair (78, 177) added 147 in 46 overs.
But Hannon-Dalby powered his side back into the game after tea with bowling of sustained accuracy and menace. His 19-7-29-3 was worth many a five-for harvested in more helpful conditions.
After choosing to bowl, Warwickshire made the anticipated early breakthroughs as both openers fell in the first 61 balls. With Ricardo Vasconcelos ruled out injured, Hassan Azad opened with Gay but perished in careless fashion in the second over when he lifted Chris Rushworth to cover.
When Luke Procter edged Hannon-Dalby to second slip, Northamptonshire were 24 for two. Warwickshire, themselves in desperate need of a lift after a wretched few weeks, hoped that a clatter would follow but Nair and Gay rebuilt patiently.
Nair, recruited for the last three games to replace the departed Sam Whiteman, underlined his commitment to the cause by taking 23 balls to get off the mark. With Gay batting in composed fashion, the third-wicket pair added exactly 100 before the gathering munge – drizzle, low cloud and bad light – forced the players off for two hours.
Led by the indefatigable Hannon-Dalby, Warwickshire fought back in the last session as the visitors’ batting fragility showed itself. The Yorkshireman shaped a perfect away-cutter which took Gay’s edge through to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess and had Richard Keogh dropped on nought in the slips then bowled him through a big drive.
Ed Barnard added the big wicket of Nair, who had become becalmed for 13 balls on 78, when his concentration at last wavered and he feathered an attempted loft to third man.
Saif Zaib and Lewis McManus avoided further damage but Northamptonshire’s lower order needs to shine with bat and ball tomorrow if their side’s cadaverous survival bid is not to expire completely.
Hannon-Dalby said: “It’s probably about even-stevens. There was a period when Gay and Nair batted really well and kept us out and we weren’t a million miles away but maybe just a smidge off it in the first two sessions. But we got our rewards in the last session. They didn’t score many runs and we picked up three wickets in the session on what is a really good cricket wicket. If you are patient with the bat you can get value for your shots and get some runs but, as a bowler, if you bang it in the right area enough times. there are wickets to be had.
“Craig Miles didn’t get a wicket but bowled a brilliant spell to try to make things happen which was his role today. I benefited from that in my role which is to dry up the runs as much as I possibly can and try to hit a few people in the shins.”
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