Hain's Maiden Century Builds Big Lead

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Sam Hain became the youngest player to make a first-class century for Warwickshire as the visitors utterly dominated on day three at the County Ground.

Hain, who resumed on his overnight 87, reached the landmark after nearly an hour’s play with a leg glance off Steven Crook and continued on to 134 before he was trapped in front by Matthew Spriegel’s off-spin.

It was fine study in concentration and discipline by the teenager who beat the record set by Ian Bell against Oxford University back in 2001 by 85 days - 18 years and 336 days to 19 years and 56 - and the one in LV= County Championship fixtures, also held by Bell, by a further 88 days.

He was joined on the century-maker’s list by Keith Barker (102) who weighed in with an 107-ball effort from number nine as the Northamptonshire, who conceded in excess of 500 for the third game in a row, were given a flogging.

Following the early departure of Tim Ambrose (16), who was caught by second slip loosely driving at Maurice Chambers, Hain and Rikki Clarke (46) added 86 at a fairly brisk pace to overhaul the deficit.

That advantage had been stretched to 57 when Clarke’s fluent stint came to an end as he was adjudged lbw on the front foot to Olly Stone and it was needed by the home side who only managed to accrue a single bonus point with the ball.

Hain’s 284-ball stay ended after the best part of six hours shortly after and, as if to emphasise the depth of the Warwickshire order, that paired Chris Woakes with Keith Barker and the pair put on another 58 until Woakes perished one short of his half century when he drove to mid-on to give Stone his second wicket.

All that was left was for Barker and Jeetan Patel (34), and then Chris Wright (19*), tomerrily swing away as the total raced towards 600 and when the declaration finally arrived at 602-9, the highest score ever made by Warwickshire in this fixture, the lead stood at a dominant 290.

To compound their problems, Stephen Peters (4) guided Woakes’ fifth ball of the first over to gully and he was quickly followed by Richard Levi(7), caught down the leg side, and Rob Keogh, completing a pair when edging to second slip.

James Middlebrook (29) and Matt Spriegel (10) managed to survive until the close with few alarms but the hosts have it all to do tomorrow if defeat number six is to be avoided.

Hain's Maiden Century Builds Big Lead www.northantscricket.com