County Championship: Sam Hain hits ton but Hampshire set Warwickshire 404 to win

Sam Hain's last Championship century was also against Hampshire in July 2016
Sam Hain's last Championship century was also against Hampshire in July 2016
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day three):
Hampshire 539& 171-8 dec: Donald 52; Hannon-Dalby 3-29, Patel 3-71
Warwickshire 307: Hain 129*, Yates 91 & 31-3: Abbott 3-18
Warwickshire (4 pts) need a further 373 runs to beat Hampshire (7 pts)

Warwickshire face a daunting task on the final day at Southampton after being set 404 to win by Hampshire.

After resuming on 198-3, Sam Hain finished unbeaten on 129 after making his first Championship century for three years in the Bears' 307 all out.

Hampshire did not enforce the follow-on, building on a 232-run first-innings lead as Aneurin Donald (52) helped the hosts race to 171-8 in 35.5 overs.

But Kyle Abbott took three wickets in 11 balls as the Bears closed on 31-3.

In the 11 overs Hampshire had at Warwickshire before stumps, the South African fast bowler stunned the visitors.

First, he removed the previously in-form Dom Sibley cheaply for the second time in the match for just two, then he had Rhodes well caught at slip by Ajinkya Rahane for 10.

With his next delivery, Abbott then got one to nip back and hit the top of nightwatchman Olly Stone's off stump - his golden duck proving a particular disappointment after the England winter tourist had lasted almost an hour for 21 in the first innings.

Hain, confidence soaring from earlier, came in to hit Abbott's hat-trick ball through midwicket for four, but he and teenager Rob Yates, fresh from his career-best 91 in the first innings, have a tall order when they resume on the final day, still needing a now unlikely 373 to win.

Spearheaded by Hain, the Bears did at least show spirit earlier in the day. The wickets were shared around earlier by the Hampshire bowlers, Gareth Berg proved the most effective, taking 2-62.

For the Bears, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and skipper Jeetan Patel then both claimed three scalps each - taking Patel to 47 Championship wickets this season.

But by far the bowling highlight of the day was the fired-up Abbott's late burst - and, although they may still have to get past Hain, that has set up a probable Hampshire victory.

Hampshire batsman Aneurin Donald:

"We tried to get a 400 lead as quick as we could but time was of the essence as we wanted a crack this evening.

"The pitch started to jump about a bit which was a good sign for when we got out there. Sibley has been in great form for them so that was a massive pole for us.

"The bowlers are a little stiff and sore but those three wickets have got us up and about and make it easier knowing that we have a big total on the board.

"They can just focus on bowling good balls. And we got our just desserts for how well we bowled on Sunday."

Bears batsman Sam Hain told BBC WM:

"Credit to Kyle Abbott there. He ran in and got what he deserved. He bowled well. He is a Test bowler so testament to him.

"It is up to Yates and I to get the boys off. We will go session by session and ball by ball and see where we are. It is a tough position but not impossible.

"We have lads in the shed who can bat time and it is self-explanatory. It is a day's batting, if we can get through this new ball and force their bowlers to keep on coming back.

"There was some feeling in my celebration. I got emotional there. It has been a while and sort of forgotten what that feeling was like. I have never been so nervous in the nineties. This one was special."

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