Warwickshire close on title as Hampshire go down
|LV County Championship Division One, The Rose Bowl|
|Close, day three: Warwickshire 493, Hampshire 324 & 43-3|
|Warwicks 6pts, Hants 4pts|
Warwickshire took three quick second innings wickets to close in on the Championship title after relegating Hampshire by making them follow on.
Hampshire began day three at The Rose Bowl on 57-0, knowing that they needed five batting points and then had to win to stand a chance of beating the drop.
But they picked up only three in being bowled out for 324, despite Liam Dawson carrying his bat for an unbeaten 152.
Hampshire closed on 43-3 second time around, still 126 runs behind.
It leaves Warwickshire in sight of a first County Championship title since 2004, but, with Lancashire in charge of their clash with Somerset, it is likely they will need to polish Hampshire off and win the game to claim the trophy.
Their advantage might have been even more clear-cut had it not been for the efforts of Dawson, whose century was only the third of his first-class career.
But Warwickshire kept plugging away to enforce the follow-on, with on-loan paceman Chris Wright and left-arm spinner Chris Metters taking three wickets each.
Boyd Rankin soon removed Dawson for 17 in Hampshire's second innings, before Metters struck a potentially crucial blow by dismissing skipper Jimmy Adams and nightwatchman James Tomlinson in successive balls.