County Championship: Will Rhodes guides Warwickshire to win over Northants

Will Rhodes' previous highest Championship score was also at Edgbaston, 79 against Warwickshire in 2015
Will Rhodes' previous best Championship score was also at Edgbaston, 79 against Warwickshire in 2015
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Edgbaston (day three):
Northamptonshire 256 & 187: Stone 5-49, Wright 3-58
Warwickshire 265& 180-4: Rhodes 100*, Sanderson 3-33
Warwickshire (21 pts) beat Northamptonshire (5 pts) by six wickets

Warwickshire opener Will Rhodes made his maiden first-class century to help the County Championship Division Two leaders beat Northants at Edgbaston and earn their third straight win.

The Bears made short work of finishing off Northants, who resumed on 160-7.

Paceman Olly Stone took two of the three wickets to finish with 5-45 as his old team were bowled out for 187.

Left a target of 179 to win, Rhodes then hit an unbeaten 100, reaching his century with the winning boundary.

The Bears briefly made it look more of a challenge than expected when Dom Sibley chipped to square leg off Ben Sanderson, who then pinned both Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott leg before wicket.

But from 44-3 at lunch, Sam Hain (17) helped put on 50 for the fourth wicket, then Matt Lamb came in to provide further support to Rhodes, finishing on 23 in an unbroken 86-run stand.

Warwickshire paceman Olly Stone
Olly Stone has taken 15 wickets in two Championship matches for Warwickshire so far in 2018game against Sussex

Stone, playing in only his third Championship match for Warwickshire after an injury-hampered time since his mid-summer arrival from Northants in 2016, finished with match figures of 7-106.

After starting the season fully fit with a career-best 8-80 in the season-opening draw against Sussex, he was then sidelined for two games by a hamstring injury, missing the first of the two meetings with his old county Northants.

Warwickshire now go into the first of this season's Championship breaks at the top of the table, having won three of their opening four games.

Their first One-Day Cup clash is at home to Derbyshire on Thursday, when Northants host Leicestershire.

Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel told BBC WM:

"This game was another case of contributions from all of us on a tough wicket and the efforts that we all put in. I'm really happy for the players.

"The guys who have got rewards in this game are Will Rhodes, Olly Stone and Henry Brookes but the reality is we have all done a lot to get this win. Three wins from our first four Championship games - I couldn't be happier.

"The way Rhodesy played showed why we signed him. He is a seriously talented player and has lot to offer the club. He played superbly to get us over the line."

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley:

"For a long time it was a very even game and at lunchtime it was really in the balance after we took those two key wickets. I thought it was going to the wire but Will Rhodes played really well. To get a hundred with your team under pressure on a wearing pitch showed good skill and determination. He was the difference.

"Steven Crook was injured but we were never going to be in the field for 100 overs, so I don't think that was a particularly deciding factor factor.

"I thought Rob Keogh might come into the game as a spinner. We had enough out there to be competitive. We just have to hope the injury is nothing too serious for Steve so he doesn't miss too much cricket."