James Vince holds his ground among the wreckage as Warwickshire takes the lead

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By Webdesk

Warwickshire 82 for 0 (Davies 46*) course Hampshire 229 (Vince 75*, Rushworth 3-38, Woakes 3-45) with 147 runs

James Vince continued his fine form with an unbeaten 75 but Hampshire collapsed to give Warwickshire the best of the first day in the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire captain Vince scored a stunning 186 in the victory over Northamptonshire last month and looked unconcerned in a challenging visiting attack. Chris Woakes and Chris Rushworth both claimed three wickets each, with Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Ed Barnard supplementing their efforts in the absence of Pakistan’s overseas Hasan Ali, who was rested.

Their successes saw Hampshire’s downfall as they slipped from 83 for 1 to 109 for 6 before being bowled out for 229. In response, Warwickshire reached 82 with no loss at the end, Alex Davies leading the attack with 46 not out.

Hampshire’s brittle batting was the Achilles’ heel in their failed LV=Insurance County Championship title challenge last season and it could further extend their 50-year wait for another crown.

Lead-off hitter Felix Organ begins to lose chances after being bowled while shouldering his arms at Rushworth for 1, following Hampshire’s decision to bat first. It took his average for the season under 10, under pressure from the 2nd XI: Toby Albert recorded 231 and 63, and Joe Weatherley also hit a ton in this week’s clash against Kent 2nd XI.

Fletcha Middleton, on the other hand, has a strong preference for first-class cricket. He scored two half-centuries in the previous match in the Ageas Bowl and was once again comfortable with the new ball. He partnered Nick Gubbins in a 74-run stand.

Woakes is trying to persuade Ben Stokes to recall England ahead of the Ashes, and his stingy first spell of five overs for just two runs would be a good conversation starter. The meat of the chat would include his second spell and how he piloted a throw over Gubbins caught on first slip, via a chest parry from second.

And then perhaps his punch line could be the stunning fly-out that clipped Middleton’s outer edge, for an unlucky 49. He also caught a hooking Ian Holland in his third spell to return 3 for 45, including his 550th first-class wicket.

Hannon-Dalby agreed to pin Tom Prest lbw before Rushworth plowed into the pads of Ben Brown and Liam Dawson in one productive stroke. Hampshire had lost five wickets in 69 deliveries for just 26 runs.

Of these, Vince survived, and after a short 28-run stand with Holland navigated his way forward with the tail. He added 49 runs with James Fuller, 31 with Kyle Abbott and 12 with Mohammad Abbas.

His innings saw his usual run of drives as he reached his half-century with 72 balls, before targeting midwicket and long-on for three lusty sixes as his partners dwindled – Barnard took the last two scalps.

Hampshire often leans on Abbas and Abbott to pull them back in matches after under-scoring. On this occasion, Rob Yates and Davies prevented them. The Warwickshire openers have had ages this season and serenely navigated the evening session. Davies was by far more aggressive, with Yates ending the day with 26 off 104 balls.

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