Vince salutes ‘unbelievable fightback’ as Hampshire defeat Warwickshire in County Championship thriller at Edgbaston
Hampshire pulled off an ‘unbelievable fightback’ in a crucial round of the County Championship in Division 1, defeating Warwickshire by 60 runs in a thrilling encounter.
That meant James Vince’s men leapt above former table-toppers Warwickshire into joint-top spot alongside Yorkshire, writes EMILY MARSHALL.
Hampshire might not stay at the top for long - Nottinghamshire will take over pole position if they complete victory over Lancashire later today.
Going into the final day, with Warwickshire starting on 139-2, the equation was set - the hosts needed 157 runs and Hampshire needed eight wickets.
Warwickshire made a resilient start to the chase in the morning, managing to hold off some threatening bowling on a pitch which they injected some life into after it looked to be flattening out in the sun.
However, three wickets fell in the morning session to put Hampshire on the front foot.
Rob Yates, after gritting through his innings, was trapped lbw by James Fuller for 77 from 229 balls in a debatable decision - one that seemed to change the tone of the Warwickshire innings.
Shortly after, Sam Hain (18) was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Abbas who returned to the field after his ankle injury the previous evening.
Will Rhodes fell to the same dismissal, caught behind off Abbas for 17, as Warwickshire went into lunch on 195-5.
After the interval, the Bears lost their final five wickets for just 23 runs.
Matthew Lamb, who looked to be playing through some back pain, remained resilient throughout the collapse around him, but the lower order couldn’t provide the support necessary to see them over the line.
Michael Burgess gave Keith Barker his first wicket of the innings - his sixth of the match - as Burgess edged behind for 11.
Danny Briggs, then followed, trapped lbw by Fuller for his second wicket.
Next ball, Liam Dawson came into the attack and claimed the eighth wicke - Craig Miles edging to first slip without scoring.
Dawson was to finish with impressive figures of 3-42. But he was not out of the game yet either; in the next over Liam Norwell was ran out in a contentious decision that saw Warwickshire reduced to 233-9.
The game was wrapped up when Brad Wheal forced Chemar Holder to edge behind.
The result takes Hampshire to 38.5 points, the same as Yorkshire, with Warwickshire just 2.5 points behind.
Now Hampshire’s home game with Nottinghamshire, starting this Sunday, takes on even greater significance than before.
Hampshire captain James Vince, whose side won after being skittled for 89 on the first morning, said: ‘It was a pretty good wicket, both teams made mistakes with the bat on day one, and the way we responded on day two was a real good effort from us.
‘The wicket got better as it went on, and it was an unbelievable fightback from us.
‘We have done that in all three formats, so I knew we had the character to do so; (to) bring it back and turn it around in that manner is amazing.
‘We didn’t know coming into today if Abbas could bowl, so it was great for him to come out and pick up those wickets for us.
‘It was a massive effort from everyone, running in when we weren’t getting wickets and the scoreboard wasn’t going anywhere.
‘I’m thrilled for the group.’
Warwickshire coach Mark Robinson added: ‘We had opportunities to really get ahead of that game. We let them back in at times. That is testament to Hampshire, though, they played well out there.
‘We have won those games before, four of our games have gone to day four and we’ve come out the right side of them, and today we haven’t. That happens, that’s cricket.
‘All I can ask is that we put ourselves in positions that we can win games, and we did do that - partnerships between Yates and Sibley and then Lamb battling through, but sometimes it’s just not meant to be.
‘We are still in with a chance; eight days to go, we will show courage and heart like we have all season.’