Ben Sanderson claimed his eighteenth first-class five wicket haul, including a dramatic hat-trick but Warwickshire clawed their way to victory on an unusual final day at Edgbaston.
The home side overcame a top-order implosion caused by Sanderson’s hat-trick to chase down an artificially created target of 176 in 60 overs. They lurched to 24 for five, but sixth-wicket pair Michael Burgess and Ed Barnard both took advantage of umpiring lifelines to add 70 before a ninth-wicket stand of 52 with Olly Hannon-Dalby took the hosts to victory.
Needing a win to preserve any realistic hopes of survival, the visitors had to accept any equation offered to them on the last day of the rain-affected match. Warwickshire demanded a generous 176 from 60 overs and vindicated their caution by collapsing early on.
Delivering the agreed target required a morning of faffing about. Warwickshire declared 103 behind and then opened the bowling with wicketkeeper Burgess. Hassan Azad (30, 70 balls) and Emilio Gay (31, 65) enjoyed an outdoor net to add 72 in 22.3 overs before the declaration arrived ten minutes before lunch.
With their side’s recent top order travails in mind, Warwickshire’s supporters were taking nothing for granted and duly saw the top five depart for a combined 20 runs in 10.2 overs. Kraigg Brathwaite’s unproductive start to his Warwickshire career (42 in four innings) continued when Jack White clipped his off-stump with a beauty and Sanderson then delivered a masterclass of an over.
It brought a hat-trick of the highest quality. Outswingers to left and right-handers respectively saw Will Rhodes caught at first slip and Sam Hain bowled off stump. Dan Mousley, evidently taken by surprise by the clatter as he took a long time to arrive, was soon trudging straight back after edging the hat-trick ball to fourth slip. When Rob Yates edged Sanderson to a good low catch by Karun at slip, Warwickshire were 24 for five and in disarray.
Barnard and Burgess restored order as the pressure lifted after the opening bowlers came off and the pitch eased in the afternoon sunshine. Both were assisted by fortunate decisions in their favour. First Barnard first shouldered arms to a Jack White delivery that nipped back to strike him in front of off stump, the confident shout turned down. Then it was Burgess’ turn to come out on the right side of a decision, Luke Procter finding his back pad with a particularly straight LBW appeal that was also denied. Barnard eventual saw the finger go up, sweeping to Rob Keogh in the last over before tea, but a flurry of fours from Danny Briggs (24, 22) provided vital impetus.
Sanderson returned to trap Briggs LBW and claim his five-for and when Craig Miles top-edged a strange hoik, number ten Hannon-Dalby went in with the last two wickets needing to find 52. While the tail-ender dug in deep, Burgess passed an 89-ball half-century and went on to manage the chase and see his side home by two wickets in the final half hour.