Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day three)
Hampshire 354: Alsop 150, Donald 75 & 302-5 dec: Rossouw 76, Soames 62, Northeast 55*, Weatherley 46
Warwickshire 233: Sibley 109*; Abbott 4-50 & 42-2
Warwickshire (3 pts) need a further 382 runs to beat Hampshire (7 pts)
Match scorecard

Warwickshire vice-captain Dom Sibley completed a century for the sixth successive first-class match but the Bears still ended day three at Edgbaston facing defeat by Hampshire.

Resuming on 184-7, with Sibley on 95, he went on to carry his bat for 109.

But, although the hosts did at least reach the follow-on target, they were bowled out for 233, a deficit of 121.

After rattling up quick runs, Hampshire declared on 302-5 then the Bears closed on 42-2, still needing 382 more to win.

Rilee Rossouw, who hammered four sixes in his 76 off 58 balls, Ollie Soames, who made an almost equally belligerent 62 off 57 balls, and Sam Northeast (55 not out) all made half-centuries,

Joe Weatherley weighed in with 46, sharing an opening stand of 102 in 70 minutes with Soames before Hampshire declared after just 50 overs.

With Kyle Abbott taking an early wicket, this time getting unbeaten first-innings centurion Sibley in only the third over, and spinner Liam Dawson removing his opening partner Will Rhodes, Hampshire ended the day well-placed for a second Championship win of the season.

Sibley’s six centuries

Sibley began this season by scoring a century in Dubai for the MCC in the annual pre-season fixture against the champion county, in this case his former club Surrey.

But he also hit hundreds in Warwickshire’s final three Championship games of 2018, as well as making centuries in this season’s first two matches.

10 September 2018Bears v Leicestershire (Grace Road)106
18-21 September 2018Bears v Sussex (Hove)44 & 144*
24-25 September 2018Bears v Kent (Edgbaston)119
24-27 March 2019MCC v Surrey (Dubai)19 & 128
12-14 April 2019Bears v Kent (Edgbaston)132 & 5
15-16 May 2019Bears v Hampshire (Edgbaston)109* & 3

That equals Warwickshire’s county record of tons in five consecutive first-class matches held by former Bears star Brian Lara – set in the run-filled treble-winning summer of 1994.

Lara’s feat has a still more lasting place in cricket history, however. The five successive matches in which he scored six centuries in seven innings were his first five matches for Warwickshire.

The West Indies legend’s first seven scores for the county were 147, 106, 120 not out, 136, 26, 140 and his world record 501 not out.

Bears vice-captain Dom Sibley told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

“Hampshire have shown us how to go about it with the ball. In the first innings, all their seamers bowled well but Abbott was top drawer.

“I faced him a couple of times at The Oval on a pitch that was flat and he made it extremely hard work with the ball coming back in and he has done the same here. He is just relentless, always asking you questions.

“Six centuries in six games is nice to do. Hopefully I can get another one down in Taunton and make it seven. It is a bit of a strange one because the six games have gone over last year and this year but I am proud of it.”

Hampshire batsman Oliver Soames:

“A lot of the guys have chipped in and done their part. The first two days set us up perfectly and we are in a very strong position.

“If you bowl line and length there is a bit there and obviously there are footmarks there now for Liam Daws and Joe Weatherley to bowl into.

“My first half-century couldn’t have come at a better time for me. It’s just nice to contribute. Joe at the other end really helped me and anchored the innings.”