Report: Warwickshire v Durham, LV= Insurance County Championship
Warwickshire and Durham will both enter the final round of LV=Insurance County Championship matches next week with sights firmly set on a top-two finish after their clash at Edgbaston ended in a rain-ruined draw.
Bad weather which plagued the match, washing out the entire first day, continued into the fourth, preventing any play after lunch.
In the two hours of cricket that were possible, Durham advanced to 253 for seven in reply to the Bears 237 all out. David Bedingham stroked a classy unbeaten 92 (161 balls. 16 fours) while Craig Miles took five for 62 to complete five-fors in successive championship matches, but the match was long dead as a contest.
It was a frustrating four days for both teams but both have it all to play in the final round starting on Sunday. Warwickshire know that victory over Worcestershire at New Road will secure them a top two finish while Durham sit third in Group A and will face leaders Nottinghamshire at The Riverside knowing that a strong performance could force them into the top tier.
After Durham resumed on the final morning on 173 for five, Bedingham and Ned Eckersley (27, 63 balls, four fours) took their partnership to 73 in 25 overs before the latter chipped Rob Yates to mid-wicket.
That give the spinner his maiden first class wicket to accompany his first innings century and Yates was soon in the action again, this time at third slip whenJack Burnham edged the second ball with the new ball, from Miles to third slip.
The wicket completed a deserved five-for for Miles who led the heavily depleted bowling attack extremely well. His fellow former Gloucestershire seamer Liam Norwell, meanwhile, was entitled to feel a little aggrieved. He also bowled well but while Miles took five, Norwell ended up wicketless, despite bowling well for 22-8-40-0.
Rain triggered an early lunch and a series of further showers followed during the afternoon. With potentially crucial bonus points still available for another 20 overs, the teams were keen to get back out on to the field if they possibly could but, after an early tea was taken at 3.20pm, yet another downpour proved terminal.
Another day of heavy showers and attritional cricket at Edgbaston shunted the LV=Insurance County Championship tussle between Warwickshire and Durham further towards a draw.
Durham will resume on the final morning on 173 for five in their first innings in reply to the home side’s 237 all out.
After the first day washout, frequent interruption on days two and three have prevented a potentially intriguing match, between two of the strongest teams in Group A, from taking flight.
The third day saw Durham grind forward from their overnight 20 for one against a heavily depleted bowling attack further hit by the loss of Danny Briggs to England duty.
The match resumed on the third morning with an altered cast list
from the first two days after abrupt England call ups for Briggs and Durham pair Ben Stokes and Brydon Carse. Nineteen-year-old all-rounder Ethan Brookes has replaced Briggs for the Bears while Durham have drafted in Jack Burnham and Graham Clark.
Briggs’ departure adds to an absentee list of Warwickshire bowlers already including Olly Stone, Olly Hannon-Dalby, Henry Brookes and Tim Bresnan (injured) and Chris Woakes (England duty).
Durham batted watchfully in a morning session in which they lost took two wickets, both taken by seamer Craig Miles. Cameron Bancroft and nightwatchman Matty Potts added 68 in 29 overs before the latter (35, 95 balls) was bowled by Miles who then trapped Bancroft (34, 102 balls) lbw just before lunch.
Cricket of a gritty nature continued through the afternoon session. Scott Borthwick eked 20 runs from 75 minutes then had his off stump knocked out by Will Rhodes. Miles struck again when he won an lbw shout against Sean Dickson.
David Bedingham (37 not out, 73 balls) and Ned Eckersley (18 not out, 28 balls) threaded some attractive strokes through the gloom in an unbroken stand of 33 before further downpours visited to expedite an early tea and prevent play further play thereafter.
An accomplished century from Rob Yates led Warwickshire’s resistance of an impressive Durham seam attack on the second day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.
Academy product Yates struck 102 (239 balls, 11 fours) but Durham ended the day ascendant after bowling the Group A leaders out for 237.
The 21-year-old added 56 with Pieter Malan and 74 with Sam Hain as the Bears reached a solid 221 for four, but the bowlers stuck to their task to take the last six wickets for 16 runs in 52 balls. Ben Stokes took three for 55, his first championship wickets since July 2018, and Ben Raine three for 51. Durham then replied with 20 for one in seven overs before the close.
After Durham chose to bowl, a superb new ball spell from Matty Potts brought the wicket of England’s Dom Sibley when a rapid leg-cutter took the edge through to wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley.
Yates and Malan (31, 51 balls, five fours) saw off the new ball before the latter tickled a leg-side delivery from Brydon Carse to the keeper.
Hain and Yates batted assiduously to add 74 in 35 overs. Yates drove Raine to the cover boundary to pass 50 from 131 balls but Hain departed for 30 (98 balls, two fours) when he paddled a short ball from Stokes to short fine leg.
With England head scout James Taylor among the onlookers, Yates reached his century from 238 balls with 11 fours – his fourth first-class century, all of which have come at Edgbaston. The crowd gave him the warmest of ovations and shared his disappointment when, next ball, he fell lbw to Raine.
In the final session, Durham dabbled in left field when Eckersley shed the keeper’s pads to deliver an over of enigmatic off spin. Its fiendish variations did not bring a wicket but clearly scrambled the minds of the batting side which promptly fell in a heap.
Will Rhodes (39, 88 balls, six fours) clipped Chris Rushworth to square leg, Matt Lamb chipped Stokes to fine leg and Rushworth was rewarded for a highly optimistic lbw appeal against Michael Burgess.
Stokes took a sharp return catch from Danny Briggs and then, in murky light, Raine polished off the innings with two wickets in five balls as Craig Miles and Ryan Sidebottom edged behind.
Miles soon struck when Durham replied, his ninth ball striking Michael Jones’ middle stump.
The teams got as far as tossing up and Durham captain Scott Borthwick called correctly and elected to field, but that is as far as they got as a series of torrential showers swept across Birmingham.
Both teams, placed first and fourth in Group One respectively, will be keen to get going tomorrow to press for points to strengthen their bid for a top-two finish.
Durham are close to full strength, with England all-rounder Ben Stokes available, while Warwickshire’s seam attack is heavily depleted. Already without Olly Stone due to a stress fracture on his back and Chris Woakes (England duty), the Bears have been hit by a further double blow with the loss of Olly Hannon-Dalby (sore heel) and Tim Bresnan (calf).
Ryan Sidebottom has come in for his first appearance of the season.