Sam Hain leads the way as Warwickshire realise that Championship is in sight

Warwickshire 283 for 4 (Hain 83*, Rhodes 60, Sibley 56) vs Somerset

It would be hard to say the exact moment when a collective realisation descended upon Edgbaston. It wasn’t at the start of the day, when Warwickshire were inserted. It wasn’t at lunch, which they reached on 80 for 1. It wasn’t even at tea, when they 161 for 3.

But somewhere in that last session, perhaps as Sam Hain and Matt Lamb were putting together a stand of 122 in 34 overs, something changed. As the shadows lengthened, hopes grew. The spectators, who had watched relatively quietly throughout the day, started to find their voice. Gradually the unmistakable sensation emerged: Warwickshire can win this.

If they are to do so, the first session on the second day may prove crucial. While Hampshire started the round of games 3.5 points ahead, they were unable to gain a single batting bonus point from their match against Lancashire. That means that, if Warwickshire can reach 350 in 110 overs, they will gain their fourth batting bonus point (these are only available in the first 110 overs of a side’s first innings) and go ahead of them. They resume on day two requiring 67 from the next 14 overs to do so, a rate of 4.78 an over.

That wouldn’t be the end of their task, either. They would still have to win the match. They would still have to take maximum bowling bonus points. And they would still have to hope that Lancashire – currently 25 for 3 – do not score 400 in their first innings and win their match against Hampshire. But you can only take one step at a time and the fact is, the first day of this match could hardly have gone better from a Warwickshire perspective.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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