Warwickshire sinking in the showers as relegation fears grow

Rob Yates brought up a fourth Championship hundred of the season Getty Images

Hampshire 4 for 0 trail Warwickshire 272 for 4 dec (Yates 104, Sibley 54, Holland 3-85) by 268 runs

Rob Yates completed his seventh first-class century but Warwickshire and Hampshire were again kept largely inactive on the second day of their crucial LV=Insurance County Championship tussle at Edgbaston.

It was a deeply frustrating day for Warwickshire, who must win to have any chance of avoiding relegation, and equally so for the spectators. They saw a dearth of cricket in the day, just 32.1 overs, while both lunch and tea intervals were taken in dry weather and then the last 'session' was ended prematurely for bad light...with the sun shining!

Warwickshire declared on 272 for four, Yates having made 104 (185 balls) and Ian Holland taking three for 85, before the visitors replied with four without loss in 19 balls before the close.

With Yorkshire in jeopardy on a turning track at Bristol, the escape hatch is still ajar for the champions. They have enough bonus points to overhaul Yorkshire (assuming they lose) but the Bears still need to win this match.

Taking 20 wickets with an injured-ravaged bowling attack on a good batting pitch, with likely further interference from the weather, is unlikely. Their hopes of a status-salvaging victory may lie in collusion as Hampshire need five points to be sure of fending off Lancashire's challenge for runners-up spot.

After the loss of 55 overs on the first day, Warwickshire resumed on 138 for two but rain and bad light soon made a nuisance of themselves. The first three fragments of cricket brought 66, 37 and 16 balls respectively.

Yates, 77 not out overnight, advanced to his century from 179 balls with 19 fours and added 85 in 23 overs with Sam Hain before both fell in four balls. Yates was bowled by Holland's first ball after an interruption and Hain (44, 76) edged a fine delivery from Fuller to wicketkeeper Aneurin Donald.

Hampshire's seamers got a few past the bat but the pitch is good for batting and Will Rhodes (28, 23) and Dan Mousley (27, 29) added an unbroken 58 in 51 balls before yet another interruption.

That triggered the declaration as Warwickshire sought to move the game on. Hampshire avoided damage in the awkward little session though Felix Organ should have gone in the first over when he edged Olly Hannon-Dalby but Hain grassed the chance at second slip.

Then the players were taken off for bad light and, though the sun came out immediately, there was no getting them back out. Sometimes, county cricket shouldn't be allowed out.

Hampshire 4th innings Partnerships

1st6IG HollandFS Organ
2nd8IG HollandJJ Weatherley
3rd19NRT GubbinsJJ Weatherley
4th16JM VinceNRT Gubbins
5th24BC BrownNRT Gubbins
6th12AHT DonaldNRT Gubbins
7th6KHD BarkerNRT Gubbins
8th33JK FullerNRT Gubbins
9th9JK FullerBTJ Wheal
10th0Mohammad AbbasBTJ Wheal