Davies extends run fest as Warwickshire dominate Hampshire

Alex Davies made his second big hundred in successive innings Getty Images

Warwickshire 340 for 4 (Davies 149, Rhodes 81, Yates 69) vs Hampshire

Alex Davies continued his run-fuelled start to the Vitality County Championship season with an immense century as Warwickshire tyrannised Hampshire.

New Bears skipper Davies has already totted up 441 runs this season - over 60 per cent of the runs he managed in 2023 - with scores of 36, 256 and on this occasion 149 to lead from the front.

He was partnered with by high-scoring Rob Yates and Will Rhodes - who are up to 286 and 323 runs this campaign after 69 and 81 at Utilita Bowl.

Warwickshire ended day one on 340 for 4 - with Liam Dawson's double and a wicket apiece for Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas giving Hampshire minimal cheer.

Hampshire head coach Adi Birrell had forewarned that the pitch had been designed to be identical to the season opener against Lancashire last week - a match that petered out to a draw.

It had been hoped a change in ball from Kookaburra to Dukes might offer the bowlers more assistance but in fact it only helped the batters score quicker - especially with a short boundary on one side.

Davies' decision to bat after winning the toss was a no-brainer, and proved as such as he put on a clinic of field manipulation and boundary hitting.

He and opening partner Yates tore into the over-pitching Abbott early on - the South African went for 29 in his opening four overs as the opening stand whizzed past 50 inside 14 overs.

The duo were coming off the back of an epic 343-run stand against Worcestershire at Edgbaston last week. As they raced to 114 by lunch, with barely an oooh or an ahhh from Hampshire's bowlers, a similarly massive alliance looked likely.

Yates had reached his fifty in 80 balls, but fell in the second over of the resumption after Abbott changed tact. The former Test quick had exclusively bowled around the wicket before the interval but afterwards came over, and managed to get the left-hander to nick behind with the ball angling across him.

The breakthrough didn't spark a collapse as a 116-run partnership made way for a 174-run one.

Davies has replaced Rhodes as captain this season put the pair batted as one against a bowling attack struggling to find a cutting edge. Davies eased through his half-century in 82 deliveries, and despite being bowled by James Fuller off a no-ball, breezed to a ninth first-class ton in 166 balls.

Other than a swept maximum off Dawson, Rhodes was workmanlike and unmemorable in his batting - but his style simply saw the runs column continue to increase steadily. His half-century took 97 balls.

Davies fell for 149 when he edged to James Vince at first slip while attempting to work Dawson to the leg side.

A new ball soon after saw Abbas pin Rhodes on the shin before Ed Barnard was lbw to Dawson to give Hampshire a brighter end to a batting-dominant day - typified by only 22 plays and misses.

Warwickshire 3rd innings Partnerships

1st56AL DaviesRM Yates
2nd46WMH RhodesRM Yates
3rd54EG BarnardRM Yates
4th21RM YatesDR Mousley
5th28RM YatesJG Bethell