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Match Report

Late wickets peg back Bears

Late wickets peg back Bears

Lancashire struck three times after tea to limit the damage done by Varun Chopra's second Championship century of 2012 during the opening day against Warwicks today.

The former Essex opener and ex-England under 19s captain, 24 years old and the first Warwickshire player to ever score back-to-back double hundreds when he did it last year, brought up his patient ton off 218 balls with 10 boundaries early in the evening session at Edgbaston.

He shared an opening stand of 168 with Ian Westwood, who made 70, to bring up the highest first-wicket partnership posted by anyone in Division One this summer.

Stylish Chopra, who drove successive boundaries off Gary Keedy's left-arm spin in the 67th over to help him move through the nineties, also shared 56 for the second wicket with Will Porterfield (34) to help take the score to 224-1 in the 76th over.

But left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan struck twice and Ajmal Shahzad once with the second new ball as the Bears fell to 246-4 in the 86th over.

Warwickshire closed on 289-4 from 98 overs, with Darren Maddy unbeaten on 29 and Tim Ambrose 22 not out. Kerrigan finished with 2-75 from 25 overs as none of Lancashire's five-man attack went for more than three runs per over.

In fact, Kerrigan was the most expensive bowler of the day as Shahzad and Luke Procter also struck.

Kerrigan had Porterfield caught at first slip by Paul Horton and Chopra caught at mid-wicket by Karl Brown before Shahzad bowled home captain Jim Troughton round his legs four balls after Glen Chapple had elected to take the second new cherry.

"I thought we did really well," said coach Peter Moores, who revealed his medical team are monitoring a left side injury picked up by skipper Chapple as he bowled 17 overs at a cost of 40 runs.

"They played well, don't get me wrong, but it's a good wicket. It was a good toss for them to win because it's going to be a good pitch for two or three days although it's started to spin.

"We stuck at it well. Getting one with the second new ball was nice, although we'd have liked to grab one more to make it a really good day. We know the ball's still pretty new, so we'll come back for a crack at it tomorrow morning."

Chopra and Westwood navigated testing new ball bursts from Chapple and Shahzad. Although they played and missed, they did leave well outside off and picked off the bad balls when they came.

In truth, Lancashire deserved more rewards for their endeavours after Troughton had won the toss, although Stephen Moore spilled a chance at second slip off Shahzad's bowling when Chopra was on 51 during the early stages of the afternoon.

But they were rewarded after the break as Chopra and Troughton both played loosely to contribute to their departures. Westwood's dismissal, the first to go before tea, also falls into the category of 'loose shot' as he edged a drive to Horton at first slip in the 60th over.

Troughton and Maddy, a centurion in the clash between the two sides at Liverpool last month, both hit leg-side sixes off Keedy and Kerrigan, the first going over wide long-on and the second going over mid-wicket.

Chapple and coach Peter Moores elected to go into this match, as they also did at Liverpool, with their two left-arm spinners in tandem. Kyle Hogg and Sajid Mahmood were the ones to make way from the team that drew with Sussex at Hove at the weekend.

The fact that Warwickshire are a long way from maximum batting points despite building such a good foundation is a further indication of how Lancashire stuck to their task manfully.

But now they will be hoping that when Chapple wakes up tomorrrow, he will be able to continue bowling.

Moores added: "Glen had a bit of pain in his side. He was going to bowl one more over, so as an experienced bowler he decided not to. He's had it iced, and we'll see how it is in the morning. Hopefully it's not too serious, but you can't tell."

Graham Hardcastle
Photo of Luke Procter (c) Nigel French/EMPICS
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd


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