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    Warwickshire Trails After Hampshire’s Mixed Batting Display
Warwickshire Trails After Hampshire’s Mixed Batting Display
Warwickshire Team. Source: skysports.com

Warwickshire Trails After Hampshire’s Mixed Batting Display

Warwickshire 51 for 2 Chasing Hampshire’s 298 (Middleton 74, Dawson 46, Gubbins 44, Hannon-Dalby 3-35)

Hampshire’s batting line up showed moments of promise but ultimately delivered an uneven performance on the first day of their Vitality County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

James Vince’s team, aiming for a third consecutive championship victory, opted to bat on a favourable pitch but were dismissed for 298. Fletcha Middleton was the standout performer with 74 runs off 135 balls, the only batsman to surpass fifty, as Warwickshire’s seamers maximised the conditions.

Olly Hannon-Dalby led Warwickshire’s bowling effort. Celebrating his 350th first-class wicket, he consistently applied pressure, finishing with figures of 16-5-35-3. He received solid support from Ed Barnard, who claimed 3 for 61, and Craig Miles, who took 3 for 71.

Warwickshire’s reply in the final 12 overs of the day saw them reach 51 for 2. Kyle Abbott made an impact in the penultimate over by dismissing both openers in quick succession.

Returning to the Warwickshire side for the first time this season, Chris Woakes seemed off his usual rhythm with the new ball. It was Hannon-Dalby who made the initial breakthrough, getting Toby Albert to edge an outswinger to Michael Burgess behind the stumps.

Despite this, Hampshire progressed steadily throughout the morning session. Middleton brought up the team's 50 with a lofted six over third man off Miles, and shortly after, completed his own half-century from 79 balls, crossing the 1,000 first-class runs milestone with his next scoring shot. Warwickshire had a frustrating morning, exacerbated when Nick Gubbins, on 28, was dropped by Sam Hain at second slip off Will Rhodes.

Middleton and Gubbins formed a solid partnership, adding 102 runs over 30 overs, before Barnard's aggressive post-lunch spell dismantled their progress. Gubbins was caught at first slip, and Middleton was bowled by a low ball, losing his off-stump. Vince’s edge to third slip off Hannon-Dalby turned Hampshire’s position from a strong 119 for 1 to a shaky 148 for 4.

Ben Brown (32 off 51 balls) and Liam Dawson (46 off 66 balls) tried to stabilise the innings with a 61-run stand. However, Miles’s double strike in an oversaw Brown caught behind on a leg glance and James Fuller caught at backward point after a careless shot. On the first hot day of the season, Warwickshire's bowlers maintained their efforts, particularly Hannon-Dalby, who claimed his third wicket when Dawson was bowled.

Keith Barker, facing his former team, batted confidently for 40 off 74 balls. Barnard secured his third wicket when Felix Organ edged an outswinger for a brisk 23 off 26 balls.

Woakes, making his 100th first-class appearance for Warwickshire, returned with the new ball and soon added to his tally by dismissing Abbott, who edged to gully. Barker’s attempt to swipe Miles ended in a top-edge to fine leg, leaving Hampshire just short of a third batting point.

In response, Warwickshire's openers initially faced little difficulty until the final moments of the day. Will Rhodes, after edging consecutive balls from Barker for boundaries, lifted a catch to cover off Abbott. Shortly after, Alex Davies fell to a spectacular return catch by Abbott, concluding the day on a high note for Hampshire.

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