Hampshire Hawks' first match back in Division One of the totesport League resulted in an impressive 26-run victory over the Warwickshire Bears at a humid but cloudy Edgbaston on Sunday afternoon.

Having been sent into bat, the conditions contributed to the early dismissals of openers Derek Kenway and Nic Pothas as the Bears' pairing of Pretorius and Carter made the ball seam and swing, reducing the visitors to 22-2 off nine overs.

Promoted up the order, Lawrence Prittipaul batted sensibly in his new role, but another seaming delivery accounted for him for an admirable 26.

Clarke pulls Hogg

Australian import Michael Clarke, playing in his first ever totesport game, again showed why the Rose Bowl faithful are seeing him as the new Barry Richards. He stroked the ball around like an old professional and his 68 included twelve fours.

He may have mistimed the ball on occasions - considering he is not used to these English swinging conditions - but his innings gave the Hawks a good base for the onslaught that was to come.

Will Kendall, together with Dimitri Mascarenhas, picked up the tempo after a slow start to their stand. The former fell lbw to Brown having hit four fours and Warne came and went, having struck 10 before being stumped off fellow Aussie leg-spinner Hogg.

Mascarenhas, though, was then joined by Shaun Udal and the score went from 176-6 to 215-6 in just fourteen balls as the latter thrashed his way to an unbeaten 30 off only nine balls. One of those nine was four leg-byes and the only ball he failed off went for a single!

A run-a-ball 33 from Mascarenhas showed good support as the Hawks closed with a better score than had looked likely earlier.

The Bears' innings also struggled early on with captain Nick Knight nibbling behind off Mascarenhas and Ian Bell was brilliantly caught at backward point by Udal, again off last seasons' leading NL wicket-taker.

Wagh and Trott were finding life difficult against the seaming ball as Chris Tremlett collected a brace of wickets and when Trevor Penney was snapped up off the bowling of Billy Taylor, Warne joined Udal in tandem and the work done by the seamers was continued with the spinners.

At 138-7 and just eight overs remaining, the game looked all up for the Bears.

That was until Graeme Wagg began to take a shine to Warne and smashed his fifth ball for six off the Australian and followed it up with three consecutive maximums in his seventh over.

With the home support still believing in miracles, the seam bowlers returned to good effect. Tremlett dismissed Frost and then Alan Mullally polished off the innings with successive deliveries to wrap up the away day triumph.