Rain and bad light shorten the day at Edgbaston
There was hardly a sense of urgency in the air, both teams having had their fate decided last week. Hampshire know that their chances of the Championship title have gone whereas Warwickshire are, barring a New Testament level of miracle, set for a drop to the second division just a year after they claimed the title.
After a start delayed by early rain until 2.15, Hampshire opted to field, either because they thought that the pitch might give their bowlers some assistance or because they liked the idea of standing in the field in a temperature of around 14 degrees.
The early overs involved much playing and missing by Dom Sibley and, in particular, Rob Yates combined with some well struck boundaries. Ex-Bear Keith Barker was especially unlucky not to find an edge or two. Sibley and Yates survived and reached their half century stand as the sun came out and the pitch began to seem more benign. Yates, who has struggled to get his batting average into double figures this year, played some pleasing shots and reached only his second fifty of the season off 90 balls with ten fours. Sibley, playing his last match for Warwickshire before returning to Surrey, may well retain England ambitions, though Baz-ball is about as far away from his natural game as naked mud-wrestling. Nevertheless, he kept the scoreboard moving, mainly with his trademark leg-side shots.
After tea, Warwickshire reached a century opening stand, for them as rare as rocking horse droppings. Sibley registered his half century off 105 balls with eight fours. Then, in consecutive balls from Ian Holland, Sibley edged behind and Alex Davies left a ball that clipped his off stump. There was just time for Sam Hain to get off the mark before bad light intervened. It left Warwickshire, at 138-2, with still a chance, albeit minimal, of a win that, in any event, would almost certainly not save them from the drop.