LIAM DAWSON is calling on Hampshire to capitalise on their strong position after day two of the County Championship clash with Durham.
The Hampshire star knows three early wickets could prove crucial in the bid to avoid relegation from division one.
He said: ‘It was a decent day. We are still 160 runs ahead but this is a wicket where things can happen very quickly.
‘We are still ahead of the game but we need to take three quick wickets in the morning, bat quickly and set a score.
‘There is going to be a result at Warwickshire but we are in a good position here and they know that as well and we can win this game of cricket.’
Hampshire’s hopes were boosted with a fine day two, as Brad Wheal picked up three Durham wickets.
Wheal provided an exhilarating evening spell to get rid of the dangerous Ben Stokes, while spinners Mason Crane and Dawson also chipped in on a turning track.
An early trio of wickets for Hampshire, in Durham’s response to their 411, fluttered away relegation nerves.
Keaton Jennings was lbw to Gareth Berg in the second over, Scott Borthwick edged Brad Wheal behind before Mark Stoneman skipped down the wicket and pinged to Jimmy Adams at mid-wicket.
Then an 87-run partnership between Graham Clark and England man Ben Stokes – the pair eventually going on to make half centuries – boosted the visitors at the Ageas Bowl.
Clark reached 58, before he fell to spin – edging to a juggling Lewis McManus behind the stumps.
Collingwood departed in the next over when Crane joined the wicket column, another edge behind, as Hampshire regained control.
Stokes, known for his hard-hitting brand of cricket, was forced to turn watchful with Dawson, Crane and Will Smith’s constant spin.
He worked patiently to become the seventh player of the match to reach 50, although he was the slowest in 106-balls.
Durham, and in particular Stokes, had been lulled into a spin trance, and were stunned by Wheal’s electrifying pace and bounce.
The Scotland international accounted for Stokes with the fourth ball of his third spell of the innings, as the all-rounder’s instincts kicked in with a short ball and fell into the trap of picking out Ryan McLaren on the deep square leg boundary.
In his next over, Wheal refused to allow Ryan Pringle to settle, with the batsman flicking round the corner to the waiting Adams at short fine leg.
Wheal continued to find blistering pace and bounce on a pitch bred to offer the spinners a match-winning performance – his four over evening blast boasting figures of two for two.
But Hampshire still need three wickets to tighten their grip further.