Bears handed heavy beating
Hampshire convincingly defeated Warwickshire on day four of their County Championship Division One fixture at Edgbaston.
Needing eight wickets to secure victory, a ruthless spell of bowling from the visitors saw them dismiss the Bears on the final day 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, never looked pressured as they 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.
For the Bears, who had started the day on 44-2, it was a humbling loss as they remain bottom with two home defeats from two and without a Division One win since their 237-run victory over Lancashire on the final day of the 2016 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 just 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.