Hampshire 379 (N Pothas 122 no, M A Carberry 77) v Warwickshire 224-4 (J O Troughton 100 no)
Jim Troughton enhanced his happy record against Hampshire as he stood between Warwickshire and deep trouble on the second day at Edgbaston.
Troughton has history against Hampshire, most of it good. It was against them that he announced himself to county cricket in 2002 with a glorious unbeaten 131 at The Rose Bowl. His maiden century, it arrived on a pudding of a pitch on which every other batsman struggled.
His 103 against Shane Warne’s side at Edgbaston in 2006, as Warne spun the Bears to defeat, was not too dusty either. Less pleasureable, meanwhile, but just as memorable was his dismissal by Warne at Stratford-upon-Avon in 2005 to a ball that simultaneously moved both ways, drifted, dipped, fizzed, spat up and grubbed. Troughton b Warne 22.
No such demon deliveries were unleashed by Hampshire yesterday but they bowled with pace and aggression and if Troughton had not continued his fine early-season forms, Warwickshire would have been in a pickle.
When, in reply to Hampshire’s 379, the Bears declined to 54 for three, the follow-on figure of 230 appeared uncomfortably remote. But the left-hander followed 77 and 53 against Somerset with a century to halt the visitors’ advance. He reached his ton in the last over of the day, from 172 balls with 12 fours, before Warwickshire closed on 224 for four, on the back foot but still in the game.
After Hampshire resumed on 310 for seven, the Bears took a further 100 minutes to tidy up the tail.
Their failure to remove Nic Pothas, who continued his obdurate resistance for an unbeaten 122 from 233 balls (16 fours, one six) was understandable. He is a nuggety player who has defied the Bears before.
Less forgivable was allowing Chris Tremlett to bat 20 overs or, after Boyd Rankin swiftly removed David Balcombe, the inability to prevent James Tomlinson hanging around while 35 were added for the last wicket.
Having been 183 for five, Hampshire were happy with 379. The ninth over of Warwickshire’s innings made them happier.
Darren Maddy edged its first ball, from Dominic Cork, to second slip. From the fifth, Jonathan Trott, hungry for a run after his first-baller at Taunton, called for a single which Tony Frost failed to complete, beaten by a direct hit from substitute fielder David Griffiths.
Trott failed to atone for his error, slicing loosely to slip for 22 before Ian Bell got stuck in alongside Troughton to add 66. Bell then got a near-unplayable lifter, gloved it to slip and departed in pain. His hand is bruised but not seriously damaged.
At 120 for four, Warwickshire were still vulnerable but Tim Ambrose solidly accompanied Troughton in an unbeaten stand of 124 through to stumps. Troughton’s only scare came on 99 when he was dropped, badly, by Liam Dawson at short fine leg off Tremlett. He deserved the reprieve.
Meanwhile, in a vignette which nicely encapsulated the contempt with which county cricket is held by the international game, Hampshire’s team for this game changed yesterday, halfway through the second day. Marcus North was called up by Australia for their one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai – and promptly skedaddled.
The ECB permitted Hampshire to draft in Michael Lumb, who was playing for Hampshire 2nds against Sussex in Southampton, and he will join in for the rest of the game.