Tomlinson targets big Hampshire lead

Skipper Jimmy Adams departed for 16

Skipper Jimmy Adams departed for 16

Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tommy guns down the Spitfires

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James Tomlinson admits Hampshire are ‘looking down the barrel’ after day two of their County Championship clash against Warwickshire – but insists they can still claim a crucial win.

The seamer took three wickets to help dismiss Warwickshire for 250 yesterday, as the hosts grabbed a priceless 109-run lead from the first innings.

Tomlinson then ended the day out in the middle with batsman James Vince as the nightwatchman shepherded his side to 163 for four at the close.

As a result, Hampshire hold a 54-run lead going into day three and will be desperate to extend that beyond the 200-mark.

Tomlinson commented: ‘We’re 50 ahead and I think our last five batsmen should be getting 150 minimum. That would give us a lead of 200 and we are very capable of defending that.

‘However, it is a very good wicket, so I can see us getting 300-plus and we want to get even more than that if we can.

‘We are looking down the barrel a bit, but we’ve not got anything to lose in my opinion.

‘They want to win the league and are under quite a bit of pressure so we should try and relax and see what happens.’

After the visitors to Edgbaston had been bowled over for 141 on the opening day, title-chasing Warwickshire resumed yesterday morning on 96 for four.

Half-centuries from Tim Ambrose and Chris Woakes saw them to 250 to leave Hampshire playing catch-up.

But solid contributions from Michael Carberry (49), Neil McKenzie (45) and Vince (33 not out) helped turn a deficit into a lead – and keep Hampshire’s quest for division one survival alive.

‘They probably got 20 or 30 too many runs,’ added Tomlinson.

‘But if you’d offered us 200-220 for them at the start of the day we would probably have taken that, even though that would mean a lead of 60-80.

‘I thought we could peg that back and I still think we can peg back a 100-lead.’

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