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Dawson makes the most of depleted Bears attack; cricket.

Byline: BRIAN HALFORD

HAMPSHIRE exploited a good pitch, a correct call and a depleted Warwickshire attack to amass 304 for four on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at Edgbaston.

The visitors won the toss (Warwickshire captain Ian Bell is yet to win a contested one in the championship this season), chose to bat on a firm track and Liam Dawson, in particular, made hay.

We lost again. We toss in championship where Dougie Fresh from impressing with the ball on his England T20 debut against Sri Lanka, Dawson shone with the bat.

His eighth first-class hundred (116 from 200 balls with 13 fours and a six) has given Hampshire, bottom of the table, a strong foundation from which to push for a much-needed victory.

It was a composed, compact century, completed from the first ball with the second new ball and compiled against an attack deprived of a key man after Boyd Rankin suffered a back strain during his first over.

Without Rankin, an attack already missing Chris Woakes, Mark Adair and Chris Wright (England and Ireland duty and injury respectively) had to soldier on with just three senior bowlers.

Expectations of a turning pitch led to both teams selecting two spinners.

With seamer Ryan McLaren ruled out by a hamstring strain, Hampshire recalled 19-yearold leggie Mason Crane whose maiden firstclass five-for sent Warwickshire hurtling to defeat at The Ageas Bowl last August.

the toss - have lost the every match it's been contested.

Spin was deployed with the match just 19 minutes old as Jeetan Patel, fresh from taking ten wickets against Surrey last week, was introduced for the sixth over.

Brown Patel delivered 34 balls before conceding a run but the first-day turn was never sharp.

Keith Barker broke the opening stand at 35 when an inswinger trapped Will Smith lbw.

Jimmy Adams eked 14 runs from 87 balls then pulled Patel straight to mid-wicket.

Dawson and Tom Alsop added 81 in 24 overs before 20-year-old Alsop, having hit six fours and a six in another innings of high promise (50, 103 balls), top-edged leg-spinner Josh Poysden to mid-off.

Dawson found further resolute support from Adam Wheater (89 not out, 125 balls, 12 fours, one six) in a fourth-wicket stand of 155 in 39 overs before the estimable Barker trapped Dawson lbw five overs before the close.

Hampshire had the good fortune to win the toss - and have so far played the good cricket needed to take advantage.

Dougie Brown, the Bears' director of cricket, said: "When you lose one of your strike bowlers after just one over, it's not ideal. When you go in with three seamers to start with and are quickly reduced to two it's not great because it was a first-day pitch, not a fourth-day pitch, and the whole idea was we want the spinners to come into the game but that happens later in games.

"We lost the toss - again. I think we have lost the toss in every championship match where it's been contested this season.

"It was hard work for the guys but they stuck at it. For the main part of the day we had a lot of control but, credit to Hampshire, they stuck at it as well and got two guys in and they put together a good partnership. Dawson played exceptionally well, very well supported by Wheater."

We lost the toss - again. We have lost the toss in every championship match where it's been contested. Dougie Brown
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 11, 2016
Words:585
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