Wheater: Now we must capitalise
ADAM WHEATER recorded a career-best unbeaten 204 as Hampshire dominated Warwickshire on day of the County Championship division one clash at Edgbaston.
And he has called on the team to finish the job and earn what would be a brilliant victory.
He said: ‘It feels good to have a double-century under my belt.
‘We have put runs on the board and it is a good place to be but we have still got to take a lot of wickets.
‘But the guys have got a good game plan and a couple have kept low and we might be in the mix for a couple of early wickets tomorrow.’
The fascinating unpredictability of the division this season has been underlined over the past two days.
Hampshire are bottom, largely due to a haul of only 14 batting points from eight games, much the fewest in either championship division.
Warwickshire began this match one point off top after last week’s 10-wicket crushing of Surrey at Guildford.
But from the moment they won an albeit very advantageous toss, the visitors have been in command.
After the foundation was laid by Liam Dawson’s pragmatic century on the first day, Adam Wheater’s maiden double-century, 204 from 234 balls with 27 fours and three sixes, muscled Hampshire to 531 all out.
They took advantage of an attack, shorn of the injured Boyd Rankin, and down to two senior specialist seamers.
When Warwickshire then dipped to 11 for two in reply, the follow-on figure of 382 seemed far away.
They recovered to 131 for three by the close and, on a benign surface on which bowlers can do little more than persevere, would be aghast to be bowled out twice.
But Hampshire have dictated the match and have scoreboard pressure on their side.
After the visitors resumed on 304 for four, Wheater, playing as a specialist batsman having recently relinquished the wicketkeeping role to Lewis McManus, advanced relentlessly.
He added 79 with Mason Crane (22) and then 144 with Sean Ervine, who cracked 75 runs off 94 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
Ervine’s departure triggered the loss of the last five wickets in 19 balls, two to Jeetan Patel and three in six balls for leg-spinner Josh Poysden.
Warwickshire began their reply at the start of a post-tea session which would have lasted 49 overs if the last 6.4 had not been lost to bad light.
And they hit early trouble at 11 for two when Gareth Andrew bowled Andy Umeed, who offered no shot.
And Gareth Berg then castled Ian Bell.
Varun Chopra appeared well-set on 39 but then missed one that perhaps kept a little low from Andrew.
Jonathan Trott batted with authority to reach the close unbeaten on 59.
But Hampshire know they are in command of the contest.