Twice pinned on the ropes and down on the canvas, Hampshire's young cricketers fought back and pulled off an astonishing 22-run victory over Warwickshire to win the prestigious ECB Under-17 County Championship in yesterday’s Arundel Castle sunshine.

They were almost out for the count at 127-6 shortly after lunch on a rain curtailed opening day, but took advantage of some strange Warwickshire tactics to dominate the Friday morning session, writes Mike Vimpany.

The Midlands county did not seem to put Hampshire under any great pressure, setting defensive fields instead of looking to bowl their opponents out by taking the last four wickets.

Whatever their tactics were, they backfired spectacularly as Havant’s Harry Hovey (69) and Harry Came (56) produced a pre-lunch century partnership.

With Tom Scriven hitting a timely 22, Hampshire went on to double their overnight score and post a competitive 276-9 off a truncated 71 overs.

In total contrast to the opening day, when Warwickshire’s seamers ruled the roost under heavy bowler friendly skies, conditions were near perfect for batting on day two.

Liam Banks (97) and George Hargrave (51) took Warwickshire’s reply to 136-1 and when Tom Banton (26) helped the score on to 190-2, Hampshire were back on the canvas for another mandatory count.

When Jake Goodwin (2-39) bowled Banks three short of his century, Warwickshire wobbled, losing three quick wickets to slip to 204-5.

Hampshire’s youngsters sniffed an opportunity, only for George Westlake (26 not out) and three-wicket bowling star George Panayi (21) to steady the slide.

Their 39-run partnership took Warwickshire to 243-5.

But when spinner Felix Organ (2-60) lured Panayi out of his crease to provide Hovey with his third victim, Warwickshire went into free-fall.

They panicked and, amid a plethora of run-outs, lost their last five wickets for 12 runs and collapsed to 254 all out.

It was one of the most remarkable turnabouts in ECB history competition – Hampshire’s youngsters pulling off a result that few could have thought possible 24 hours earlier.

It was the second time Hampshire had won the Under-17 national competition, following on from the 2007 triumph when a side including Michael Bates, Danny Briggs, James Vince and Chris Wood, among others, trounced Durham at Hove.

Hampshire were beaten finalists against Nottinghamshire in 2012.