Warwickshire kick-started their Royal London Cup preparations with an emphatic 107-run victory over Cheshire in the National County at Chester Boughton Hall.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the Bears were led by ‘keeper Michael Burgess who struck a ruthless century (58 balls, nine fours, seven sixes) as the visitors reached 337 for 6.
Captain Will Rhodes added 75 (74 balls, eight fours, two sixes), whilst overseas Indian international Krunal Pandya scored 52 (36 balls, three fours, three sixes) in a rain-affected encounter that led to 41 overs per side.
Chasing the mammoth total, the hosts were 88 for 2 after 20 overs before being dismissed for 230.
Fast bowler Liam Norwell – who is building up overs following injury – starred with five for 14 as Rob Yates added two for 46. Manraj Johal, Craig Miles and Pandya completed the set to give Mark Robinson’s side plenty of confidence ahead of the 50-over competition.
The Bears face Gloucestershire and Surrey on the 2 and 7 August respectively before hosting Sussex in the home opener on Friday 12 August (11am) at Edgbaston.
U16s go FREE to Royal London Cup this summer
Edgbaston will host four 50-over Royal London Cup matches during the summer school holidays this August.
Under 16s will go free to all matches, while adult tickets are only £15. Purchase your tickets in advance today.
Ethan Brookes believes he took a “massive step forward” as a player in last year’s Royal London Cup campaign and is looking to do the same again in this year’s tournament.
Brookes is in a strong Warwickshire squad to face Cheshire in a 50-over warm-up at Chester Boughton Hall tomorrow before meeting Gloucestershire in the RLC opener at Cheltenham on Tuesday
The 21-year-old has happy recent memories of Chester Boughton Hall. He heads into the RLC on the back of some explosive batting form for the 2nd XI with two of his last three four-day games having brought scores of 92 and 174 against Lancashire at Chester and 137 and 81 against Kent at Tonbridge.
Now he is looking forward to more first-team opportunities, starting at Chester where overseas signing Krunal Pandya will make his first appearance in a Bears shirt.
“The Royal London Cup was a massive step forward for me last year,” Brookes said. “I really enjoyed the role bowling my overs and batting seven or eight and dealing with the different situations that you come into. I would like to think I learned a lot from that, whether it’s going in with 30 overs to go and playing that situation or trying to win games at the back end.
“Hopefully my role in the team will be similar this year because I learned so much during the games last year. With the bat there is actually so much time. At the start of the campaign I was going in and wanting to play shots straight away, but in the latter games I learned that often the thing to do is build an innings and then capitalise at the end.
“I did a lot of technical work on my batting with Ian Westwood in the winter and have found something extra. So I have got a good foundation with my batting and feel in a really good place at the moment. Fingers crossed I can take it into the Royal London Cup.
“With the ball, I hope I’ll bowl my full ten in all the games with a variety of slower balls and building pressure on the batter. At York last year, when I had to bowl the last over, I learned so much from that even though it didn’t go to plan.
“This year I’m ready to hit the ground running and hopefully will have a good campaign and keep banging on the door for a first team place in all formats.”
Despite the loss of 11 players to The Hundred, the Bears squad to face Cheshire is a strong one, including India international Pandya, fit-again Liam Norwell and the returning-to-form Rob Yates.
Among the senior players, youngsters are in contention, including Hamza Shaikh, Manraj Johal, Kai Smith and wicketkeeper George Maddy who has signed a rookie contract for the tournament. Maddy is likely to keep wicket while Michael Burgess plays as a specialist batter.
Will Rhodes (C) Ethan Brookes Michael Burgess Manraj Johal Matt Lamb George Maddy Craig Miles Liam Norwell Krunal Pandya Hamza Shaikh Kai Smith Dom Sibley Rob Yates
This fixture will 50 overs per side, starting at 11am. Innings break will be around 2.15pm and scheduled close at 6pm.
Tickets for this match are priced at £10 adults and U18s go free. Limited parking will be available at £5 per car. Fans can buy tickets in advance online here or you can pay on the gate, subject to availability.
There will be limited fixed seating and visitors are advised to bring your own chair. There will be food outlets at the ground and a barbecue on the day, while bars will be located in the marquee, upstairs in the clubhouse (limited times) and a bottle bar around the perimeter of the ground.
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