IT WAS mixed emotions for Liam Dawson as he scored a fabulous unbeaten century, but was powerless to prevent Hampshire’s relegation from County Championship division one.
The 21-year-old opener became a one-man barrier to Warwickshire as he hit 152 not out to carry his bat throughout Hampshire’s total of 324 all out.
His 267-ball knock included 10 fours but as Hampshire failed to reach 400 inside 110 overs, relegation was confirmed as they knew they could no longer catch rivals Worcestershire.
Dawson said: ‘It’s a disappointing day for the club but we lost it earlier in the season – it wasn’t down to this day.
‘We prepared ourselves for the worst. We all knew it would be tough to stay up in this game but we had a glimmer of hope.
‘Personally, it was good to get some runs again and finish the season on a high.
‘But it’s a disappointment that we know we’re down.’
It’s harsh on Dawson who has come back into form just as the season is drawing to a close.
But he admitted his pride at becoming the first Hampshire batsman to bat through the innings for four years and confirming his place in the record books.
He said: ‘It’s a major achievement and a proud moment for me.
‘Any first class hundred is a special time and I’m happy to make the record books.’
Hampshire were asked to follow on with opponents Warwickshire requiring just seven wickets today to claim the Championship title.
And Dawson, who was out for 17 in his second innings, has warned them that Hampshire will not roll over.
He said: ‘We know we’re down now but as a professional cricketer, you don’t want to hand Warwickshire the title. You want to make them work as hard as they can to win it.
‘We have a responsibility as professional cricketers and to the other teams. We will not hand it to them on a plate because we don’t want to see them celebrating.
‘We will try hard to stop them winning it.’