Warwickshire 159-4 trail Essex by 233 runs
Sam Hain rediscovered his form right on cue, digging in doggedly to defy an Essex attack with their tails up on the third morning of the Specsavers County Championship.
Twenty-one-year-old Hain went to lunch on 49, his highest score of a season littered with single-figure totals. Warwickshire, on 159 for four, were still 233 runs shy of making Essex bat again.
However, Essex claimed the prized wickets of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell, the two experience heads expected to lead the fight to avoid a fourth innings defeat in six games.
Warwickshire’s cause was not helped when Trott threw away his wicket to only the fifth ball of the day. He had got away with it the ball before when he ducked under a bouncer, left his bat hanging in the air and inadvertently top-edged for four over the wicketkeeper’s head.
Wagner dug in another short-pitched delivery and Trott pulled it firmly but straight into Varun Chopra’s hands at square leg. The barrage didn’t stop there and Hain found himself swaying out the way of one and taking another full on the chest.
The introduction of Simon Harmer had Bell playing watchfully, if uncomfortably. The spinner got one to turn and took the outside edge, but the ball dropped just short of Alastair Cook at slip.
At the other end, Hain welcomed Paul Walter into the attack with successive boundaries, one square on the offside, the next straight, before ending the over before struck another blow on the chest.
Harmer finally accounted for Bell with a ball that followed the Warwickshire captain and he fended it to Cook. Bell had batted for an hour and a half this morning in adding 24 to his overnight eight not out, and had put on 66 in 21 overs with Hain for the fourth wicket.