County Championship: Liam Dawson hits century to put Hampshire on top

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport at Edgbaston
Liam Dawson
Hampshire batsman Liam Dawson's 116 against Warwickshire was his eighth first-class century
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston, day one
Hampshire 304-4: Dawson 116, Wheater 89*; Barker 2-58
Warwickshire: Yet to bat
Warwickshire 1pt, Hampshire 3pts

Liam Dawson's maiden first-class century of the season put Hampshire in firm control over Warwickshire on day one at Edgbaston.

Hampshire had been 63-2 as Keith Barker trapped Will Smith (22) lbw before Jeetan Patel removed Jimmy Adams (14).

Dawson batted superbly throughout the day and reached his ton off 169 balls before falling to Barker for 116.

The 26-year-old's 155-run fourth-wicket stand with Adam Wheater (89 not out) saw the visitors close on 304-4.

With Michael Carberry absent due to illness, Hampshire chose to bat at an overcast Edgbaston and Warwickshire captain Ian Bell introduced spinner Patel into the attack after only 19 minutes, in just the fifth over.

The New Zealander began with five consecutive maidens - in an unbroken spell of 22 overs - as the pressure told on Smith and Adams with the latter falling for a turgid 14 off 87 balls.

Boyd Rankin was forced off the field after bowling just a solitary over with a sore back and failed to return at all after lunch.

Having come to the crease in difficult circumstances, Dawson played an elegant and chanceless innings, using his feet particularly well, bringing up his three figures with a square cut to the boundary.

Dawson eventually perished to Barker just before the end of play but Wheater, who played the supporting role well, remained unbeaten to leave visitors on top by some distance.

Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown told BBC WM:

"Obviously 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.

"We have lost the toss in every Championship match where's it's been contested this season.

"It was hard work for the guys but they stuck at it really well. For the main part of the day we had a lot of control but Hampshire stuck at it as well. Dawson played exceptionally well, very well-supported by Wheater."

Hampshire batsman Liam Dawson told BBC Radio Solent:

"It's a pretty good wicket so hopefully we can get some runs and put them under pressure. It was a good decision [to bat first].

"I'm obviously very happy. I've been short of red-ball runs in the last couple of games, been playing around with my technique a little bit which is never good.

"Today I just tried to watch the ball and it just shows if you do keep it very simple it's the best way to play."

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