Warwickshire 394 for 4 (Hain 140*, Rhodes 99, Sibley 52) trail Northamptonshire 597 for 6 dec (Vasconcelos 156, Young 134, Procter 100*, Cobb 66) by 203 runs
Batters continue to make hay at Edgbaston as Warwickshire replied to Northamptonshire’s 597 for six with 394 for four on the third day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match.
Hain, whose career-best 208 arrived against Northamptonshire in 2014, played barely a false shot in seven hours at the crease and his reassuring presence helped Rhodes to relocate some form and fluency. The captain’s six previous innings this season had yielded just 73 runs.
As an excellent batting track refused to deteriorate, all the bowlers could do was persevere in the sunshine. They did so commendably, led by Jack White who kept going manfully for 26-6-84-2 – very worthy figures in these conditions.
Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 80 for two, 368 from the follow-on. They needed a day of serious batting and delivered it. Only one wicket fell in the first two sessions when, midway through the morning, Dom Sibley (52, 170 balls) edged a fine ball from Luke Procter behind.
Rhodes looked a little uncertain early on and was reprieved on 22 when he chipped Rob Keogh to mid-on but Simon Kerrigan was on his heels and the ball fell just in front of him. The Warwickshire skipper gained fluency from that point – the straight-driven four off Matt Kelly which took him to 50 was exquisite.
Hain was at his implacable best. He went to the crease armed with a first-class average of 76 against Northamptonshire, but ensured its improvement by mid-afternoon and reached his 12th first-class century (239 balls) just before tea.
Rhodes was a single away from his ton when the impressive White, plugging away on a hot afternoon, induced an edge and Lewis McManus took another catch. The captain was afforded the warmest of ovations back to the pavilion.
At 314 for four, the Bears still had work to do to reach the follow-on figure and officially consign the match to stalemate. Hain and Matt Lamb ensured there was no late collapse with an unbroken stand of 80 in the last 23 overs of the day. Hain’s concentration remained absolute while Lamb continued his sparkling form this season with a perky unbeaten 47 from 77 balls.