Hampshire draw at Warwickshire

James Tomlinson was in the wickets on day four at Edgbaston. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Tomlinson was in the wickets on day four at Edgbaston. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Hampshire had to settle for a draw against Warwickshire on the final day of their County Championship division one clash at Edgbaston.

At start of play both sides had a sniff of victory as the hosts resumed on 47 without loss, needing another 332 to reel in their target of 379.

Hampshire, meanwhile, had to find 10 wickets on day four if they were to register their first victory of the season.

But the bowlers’ task was made difficult by a slow and flattening pitch which offered little turn throughout.

It was Warwickshire, their innings given a brisk start by Ian Westwood the previous evening, who appeared to be in a position from which to push for victory but they never sought to accelerate, finishing on 244 for five.

Captain Varun Chopra, resuming on 10 when play began, batted through the day to record his 17th first-class century.

It was a rock-solid innings which brought him an unbeaten 119 from 309 balls with 14 fours.

After three days of interesting, fluctuating cricket, the fourth amounted to disappointment for the spectators as the match petered out into a draw.

Hampshire took 11 points from the encounter and Warwickshire 10.

The visitors struck an early blow when Andre Adams trapped 
Westwood (40) lbw but Chopra and William Porterfield ensured there was no early clatter of wickets, adding an unbroken 60 in 30 overs, hitting just one boundary apiece up to lunch.

The second-wicket pair showed no more adventure after the interval and had ground out 68 from 34 overs before Porterfield (29) edged a fine delivery from James Tomlinson to the wicketkeeper.

The impressive Tomlinson collected a deserved second wicket when Laurie Evans (nine) lifted the ball to mid-on.

When Liam Dawson had Sam Hain (six) caught at short leg, it was 145 for four and Warwickshire were wobbling.

But Chopra remained and went into tea on 70 from 216 balls, just four of which he had hit for four, resuming afterwards with concentration undiminished.

He found an equally obdurate partner in Tim Ambrose who was batting with a runner after suffering a gluteal strain.

The wicketkeeper, a century-maker in the first innings, dug in again for 29 to snuff out any lingering Hampshire hopes of inducing a late collapse.

Nevertheless, Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams was pleased with his side’s performance, particularly the bowlers.

He said: ‘At the start of the last day I thought a draw was probably the least likely result.

‘But Varun played very well and it was a pretty good wicket which offered only a little bit of turn and didn’t go up and down like both teams thought it might.

‘I don’t think we could have asked an awful lot more from our bowlers.

‘They kept it tight and didn’t give anything away.

‘The previous evening at the start of their innings Warwickshire had got away from us a little bit and if they had started the same way 
then things could have been a lot different.

‘But the guys bowled well and I am really happy with the way we played over the four days.’

Hampshire will host Nottinghamshire in their third game of the campaign on Sunday.

The Ageas Bowl outfit are still looking for their maiden victory in the top flight.