County Championship: Dom Sibley's century helps Bears avoid follow-on at Northampton

Dom Sibley has now hit 17 first-class centuries - 11 of them for Warwickshire
Dom Sibley has now hit 17 first-class centuries - 11 of them for Warwickshire
LV= County Championship Division One, The County Ground, Northampton (day three)
Northamptonshire 451: Keogh 130, Cobb 88, Gay 70, McManus 58; Hannon-Dalby 4-84
Warwickshire 396-8: Sibley 102, Burgess 77, McAndrew 54*, Rhodes 42; White 4-62
Warwickshire (4 pts) trail Northants (7 pts) by 55 runs with two wickets remaining

Dom Sibley posted his second County Championship century of the campaign as Warwickshire frustrated Northamptonshire's hopes of pushing for victory at Wantage Road.

Sibley's patient knock of 102 was backed up by a belligerent 77 from 80 balls by Michael Burgess, ensuring the visitors passed the follow-on target to close on 396-8, just 55 behind.

Nathan McAndrew struck his maiden Bears half-century, an undefeated 54, while Northamptonshire seamer Jack White ended the day with 4-62.

However, it looks unlikely either of the sides - who have registered just one Championship win between them this season - can find a way of increasing that tally on day four.

Although Ben Sanderson found movement when Warwickshire resumed at 71-1, the hosts soon turned to spinner Simon Kerrigan.

That move paid off when the left-armer's third ball of the morning tempted Chris Benjamin to drive high to deep mid-off for his first wicket of the season.

Bears skipper Will Rhodes joined Sibley, who continued to advance at a snail's pace. The England opener's stay at the crease was approaching four hours when he reached his half-century.

But the pair gradually began to open up and Rhodes came down the track to thump Kerrigan over midwicket for the first six of the match.

However, Warwickshire were pegged back again by Josh Cobb's pre-lunch spell of three overs for two runs - plus the wicket of Rhodes for 42, smartly caught by the diving Rob Keogh at mid-on.

Northamptonshire persevered with an all-spin attack but Sibley dealt with that to bring up his 17th first-class hundred, from 260 balls.

The new ball eventually did the trick when White returned to have Sibley caught behind and then removed Jacob Bethell, with Emilio Gay initially parrying the ball at second slip before recovering to dart forward and scoop it up just above the turf.

With Warwickshire retreating into their collective shell again, Matt Lamb survived two close calls to reach 37, squirting White just short of mid-on before edging Tom Taylor through the hands of Ryan Rickelton at first slip. But Taylor got his man on the stroke of tea.

The Bears still required 44 to avoid the follow-on. But any concerns were swiftly dispelled by Burgess, who thumped a trio of boundaries off Kerrigan and confidently swept him to the fence again as he and McAndrew added 88 for the seventh wicket.

Burgess looked on course for a hundred but, having pulled White for four, he attempted to repeat the stroke next ball and top-edged to cover.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network.

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