Vitality County Championship
Vitality County Championship Logo Fri 12 - Mon 15 Apr, 11:00

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Warwickshire

Warwickshire

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Warwickshire

Durham

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Report: Warwickshire v Durham, County Championship

Day Four

Warwickshire were unable to push a win over the line as their Vitality County Championship Division One game against Durham drifted to stalemate at Edgbaston. 

Warwickshire began the final day scenting victory as the newly-promoted side, following on, resumed on 12 for two, still 169 behind. But stubborn batting, led by a maiden century from nightwatchman Matthew Potts (149 not out, 254 balls), along with weather interference, sentenced the match to a draw. The visitors closed on 293 for six.

Having conceded 698 for three in a bruising re-entry to the top flight, Durham take a lot of credit for battling to a draw, earned principally by their first innings 517, the third highest score ever by a team which then had to follow on.

Ultimately, both bowling attacks were nullified by a combination of placid pitch and Kookaburra ball. Both sides were further hampered by the loss of a key man through injury, Warwickshire’s Chris Rushworth suffering a calf niggle and Durham’s Scott Boland a sore heel.

If Warwickshire were to force a result on the final day, they needed to strike early but overnight pair Potts and Colin Ackermann, little troubled on a pitch which did not deteriorate, stretched their partnership another 100 minutes into the morning session.

The third-wicket pair added 79 in 30 overs before Ackermann (22, 100 balls) played back to Yates and a sharply turning ball knocked out his middle stump. Yates has good reason to remember this match having scored a superb 191 (25 fours, five sixes) and taken a nifty catch and seven wickets including a career-best four for 137. 

Potts will also long recall this game. He lifted Danny Briggs straight for six on his way to a 97-ball half-century and advanced smoothly to his maiden ton. David Bedingham settled alongside him as the pair added 50 in 56 balls before Bedingham (35, 41 balls) departed in anguish after donating a maiden first class wicket to Jake Bethell when he hoiked a long hop to deep mid-wicket.

That left Durham four down and still 25 behind with 50 overs left in the match but the weather, which had already dabbled in drizzle, hail, sleet, simooms, sunshine and bitterly cold winds during the day, switched on a burst of heavy rain.

That interruption ended all hope of a positive result. All that remained was for Potts and Ollie Robinson (52, 52 balls) to enjoy some sedate batting practice during which the former became the first player in the history of cricket to reach his maiden century with a three in Birmingham on a Monday. 

Warwickshire coach Mark Robinson said: “I think we have been a tad unlucky. It was a placid wicket and with the Kookaburra it makes taking wickets quite hard, but we created a lot of opportunities. Durham’s false-shot percentage was quite high and the amount of false shots and play and misses should have warranted more wickets.

“We are happy with the way we bowled but on that type of surface you need a bit a luck and you need all the decisions to go your way. We had some close shouts not given but that’s the game. Credit to Durham, they showed a lot of character to bat out two and a half days.

“For us to get such a big total is great for the batters’ confidence and we’ll take a lot out of this game. For the Hampshire game on Friday we’ll see where we are with Chris Rushworth’s injury. We don’t think it’s serious but we’ll probably make a decision quite close to the game. Hasan Ali is back with us. His prep has not been ideal, at an army camp and then playing T20, and we would like him to get a red-ball game in, but it is great to have him back.”


Day Three

Warwickshire head into the final day of their Vitality County Championship fixture at Edgbaston searching for victory as off-spinner Rob Yates led the Bears attack with a career-best four for 137.

Facing a mammoth target of 549 to avoid the follow on, Scott Borthwick’s side was bowled out for 517. Alex Lees (145, 240 balls), Ben Raine (93, 125), Graham Clark (76, 179), Ollie Robinson (60, 91) and Matty Potts (44, 40) all dug deep but Warwickshire’s attack kept paring away.

Trailing on first innings by 181, Durham closed day three on 12 for two and need to bat out day four to prevent Warwickshire’s second-highest ever total – 698 for three – being rewarded with victory.

That should be achievable by the visitors on a pitch which has yielded up just 15 wickets in three days. The two first innings together contained 10 individual three-figure scores – four with the bat and six with the ball.

After Durham resumed on the third morning on 178 for three, the pattern of batting control immediately resumed with little suggestion that the pitch was breaking up. Lees and Robinson took their partnership to 99, the former reaching his 24th first class century from 185 balls. Robinson flicked Olly Hannon-Dalby over mid-wicket for six on his way to an 82-ball half-century but then skied Danny Briggs to extra cover.

With Chris Rushworth off the field undergoing treatment for a calf niggle, the new ball went into the unaccustomed hands of Will Rhodes and the former captain soon nipped it inside a Lees drive to hit off-stump. When Brydon Carse ladled Ed Barnard carelessly to long leg, Durham were 331 for six, still 217 from that follow on figure, but Clark and Raine steadied the ship, and took valuable time out of the game, with a stand of 122 in 33 overs. 

Yates turned one sharply past Clark’s attempted paddle to leg to win an lbw decision, but Raine continue to prosper on territory he has enjoyed before. Six years ago, as a Leicestershire player in a Blast fixture at Edgbaston, he smashed 113 of which 108 came in fours and sixes. This time he struck five sixes and eight fours but then left the door ajar for Warwickshire when he was bowled behind his legs by Yates. 

That was Yates’ first three-for in first class cricket. Three balls later he had a four-for after taking a smart low return catch from Callum Parkinson. When Potts skied Dan Mousley to that man Yates at deep mid-wicket, Durham were still 32 short of the follow on so had ten overs batting second time around.  

Warwickshire all-rounder Rob Yates said: “It took only five balls for Hannon-Dalby to dislodge one of the potentially biggest obstacles to a Warwickshire win when he lured first innings century-maker Alex Lees into a loose drive which he edged to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. The last word of the day fell to the remarkable Yates who had Borthwick caught behind to add a fifth wicket to his 191 runs in the match so far. 

Warwickshire all-rounder Rob Yates said: “I am a bit sore after bowling all those overs but it’s not been a bad game for me personally and now we are in a decent position to chase a win on the last day which is always exciting.

“We bowled well all day and forced quite a few near-misses during the day and then towards the end we created a few chances and cashed in. They batted well and when Clark and Raine were putting on a good partnership it was touch and go whether we would make them follow on, but we stuck at it and that’s what you’ve got to do in conditions like this. 

“It has been hard work for the bowlers and that’s down to a good batting pitch, the Kookaburra and just good, tough Division One cricket.”


Day Two

Warwickshire piled up the second-highest total in their history to put Durham under serious pressure in their Vitality County Championship Division One tussle at Edgbaston.

The home side, led by Alex Davies’ maiden double-century, amassed a mammoth 698 for three declared to leave Durham needing 549 even to avoid the follow on.

The visitors closed the second day on 178 for three with Alex Lees (94 not out, 171 balls) leading the resistance but with a huge amount of work still to do to dig his side out of trouble.

Warwickshire captain Davies reached 256 from 311 balls while Rob Yates (a glittering 191 on the first day), Will Rhodes (178 not out from 234 balls) and Dan Mousley (an unbeaten 55 from 53) also filled their boots.

It has proved a bracing return to Division One for newly-promoted Durham whose scheduled opening game, at home to Hampshire, last week, was washed out without a ball bowled. Callum Parkinson, on his debut, harvested the most expensive analysis by a Durham bowler in first class cricket – two for 206 – while three of his team-mates also conceded more than 100 runs.

Warwickshire resumed on the second morning on 490 for one and spent the morning milking a resigned-looking Durham attack which was without Scott Boland. The Australian overseas signing bowled 13 overs on the first day but, nursing a heel injury, stayed off the field for treatment.

Davies advanced implacably onwards and it was a surprise when, after 445 minutes at the crease in which he struck 28 fours and three sixes, he was beaten in forward defence and bowled by Parkinson.

The spinner then made it two wickets in three balls when he produced a beauty to bowl Ed Barnard, but the theme of batting domination was soon restored. Mousley hoisted his third ball into the crowd at the City End for six and settled in alongside the relentless Rhodes to add an unbroken 132 in 22 overs before the declaration arrived half an hour into the afternoon session.

The pitch continued to offer the bowlers little but, after Durham eased to 42 without loss, Warwickshire’s seamers manage to prise two superb deliveries from it in nine balls. Scott Borthwick edged a brute of a lifter from Olly Hannon Dalby behind and Colin Ackermann nicked a perfectly-shaped outswinger from Craig Miles.

Lees and David Bedingham knuckled down to add 94 in 25 overs before off-spinner Yates, given his longest spell in first class cricket so far, had Bedingham (49, 70) caught at short mid-wicket. Lees’ concentration remained absolute (he closed the day on 9,998 first class runs) and, with Ollie Robinson, saw out the last 16 overs of the day but Durham are still in the foothills of the mountain they have to climb.

Rhodes said: “It’s nice to start with some runs. In the last few seasons I have been notoriously a slow starter so to have two good knocks in the first two innings is very pleasing on a personal note. The main thing is the rest of our line-up is firing and that is great to see early doors.

“It was nice to go in as number three with 343 on the board. That is an unbelievable foundation and I don’t think we’ll see that again for a number of years. Rob batted brilliantly and then I just went in there and took it on with Davo.

“It is a good batting pitch with not much pace but we bowled outstandingly well today to get three wickets. Rob Yates bowled really well and has turned himself into quite the all-rounder. It’s going to be tough tomorrow but there was a little bit more spin today than on day one so hopefully our spinners can get into the game.”


Day One

Alex Davies’ 226* put Durham to the sword as they endured a day of torment on their return to Vitality County Championship Division One as Warwickshire piled up 490 for one on the opening day at Edgbaston.

The visitors chose to bowl but were pummelled by openers Rob Yates (191, 205 balls) and Alex Davies (274 balls) who added 343, the second-highest championship opening stand for Warwickshire.

Their season-opener at home to Hampshire having been washed out last week, Durham must have wished the rain had stayed around as they toiled on a flat pitch with the Kookaburra ball.

Yates took advantage with a stylish innings which included 25 fours and five sixes, while captain Davies posted an iron-willed maiden double-century with 25 fours and three sixes. In first class cricket, Durham have conceded only five partnerships of 300-plus – three of them by Warwickshire. 

This latest instalment of woe arrived despite the presence in the bowling attack of three debutants – Scott Boland, Callum Parkinson and Colin Ackermann. They ended the day with a combined one for 220.

Durham’s decision to bowl appeared strange, bearing in mind the Kookaburra and the good batting pitch for the first game of the season at Edgbaston last week, and Yates and Davies duly rattled up 50 in 57 balls. Boland ended the Australian season in good form with 16 wickets in his last two games for Victoria but endured a joyless entry to county cricket. His first ball went for four and so did four others in his first three overs. Thirteen fours arrived in the first 12 overs as Davies raced to his 50 in 57 balls and Yates to his in 58. 

During the lunch interval, Warwickshire legend Dennis Amiss, speaking to club members, recalled his debut in 1960 when, as a 17-year-old, he did not get a bat as openers Norman Horner and Billy Ibadulla put on 377. That remains Warwickshire’s highest opening stand in first class cricket, but Yates and Davies had a real good go at it. 

They alternated in taking the initiative. Davies was first to his century (102 balls) but after Yates passed his ton (118), he accelerated. Successive sixes off Brydon Carse over the very short boundary took him in front of his partner and he struck Ackermann gloriously for 16 in three balls just before tea before perishing in pursuit of another six when Alex Lees held a swirling catch at long off. 

Yates left the field to a standing ovation and the spectators were soon back on their feet in acclaim for Davies’ maiden double century (249 balls). Never mind the propitious conditions, it was an innings of immense discipline and concentration from the captain and he has power to add tomorrow. In company with Will Rhodes (60 not out, 100 balls) he milked the melancholy Durham attack for 147 in the last 34 overs of the day.

Warwickshire’s team includes Craig Miles, recalled from his loan spell at Glamorgan in light of injuries to Liam Nowell (torn pec muscle) and Michael Booth (side strain) and the delayed arrival of Hasan Ali who arrived in Birmingham today ready to make his debut away to Hampshire next week. 

Davies said: “I really enjoy batting with Rob. We complement each other nicely with the right-hand left-hand combination so bowlers have to change their line and a difference in height so they have to change their length.

“It worked really well today because we both took the initiative at times. I got off to a flyer and Rob batted normally and then once he got past 100 he got going and batted superbly so I just hunkered down. At one point as the score mounted, I said to him, how do you want to play this? because it looked like we could be 450 for 0 at the close and he said, yeah, let’s knuckle down, That wasn’t to be but it was still a lovely day.

“I know in the past I have got out too often between 50 and 100 so now, especially as captain, I want to bat bigger and take responsibility so this is a good start. Durham didn’t have their best day and there were one or two misfields and overthrows but they will come back hard at us tomorrow. l’m sure we won’t have it all our on way.”

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Preview: Warwickshire v Durham, County Championship

Warwickshire have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of the Vitality County Championship visit of Durham with bowlers Michael Booth and Liam Norwell both ruled out for several weeks.

Booth is struggling with a side strain while scans have revealed Norwell – who was back in the red ball squad after missing all of last season – suffered a small tear to a pectoral muscle in the build-up to last week’s Worcestershire derby.

First team Coach Mark Robinson has responded by recalling Craig Miles from his loan at Glamorgan, and also moved swiftly to secure the signing of an overseas bowler to bolster the Bears seam attack.

The Club has agreed terms with the pacer and is awaiting international clearance before announcing the new Edgbaston arrival.

Robinson said: “We’re being tested at the moment. Three weeks ago we had two overseas players in the bag: Hassan’s arrival has been delayed due to changes at the Pakistan Cricket Board, while the other bowler we’d targeted had to pull out after picking up an injury. 

“Hassan is due to arrive this weekend. That’s great news and his presence alone will give everyone a boost. He’ll be in contention for our trip to Hampshire next week.

“The injuries have left us light on depth so we’ve worked hard to secure another overseas bowler of international pedigree. He’ll be an exciting addition to the squad and we’ll be pushing for the international clearance to come through soon.  

“It’s great we’ve been able to call back Milo. The loan has worked well for us as he was able to play for Glamorgan in that first game, get 20-odd overs under his belt and take a couple of wickets. 

“With our Seconds game called off last week, his stint at Glamorgan was far better prep for him so hopefully he’ll be sharp and hungry for more wickets.”

Durham secured promotion to the County Championship’s top tier for the first time in seven years having claimed the Division Two title last season, losing just one game in the process.

Their opening game of the season at home to Hampshire was washed out without a ball being bowled – but Robinson is well aware of the threat they pose.

He added: “Durham are undoubtedly a good team and will be a stern test. In Scott Boland (Australian international) they have one of the best bowlers in the world alongside England fast bowlers Matthew Potts and Brydon Carse.

“They’ll carry some momentum from last season having been promoted. So it’s a test but also a good opportunity for us and some of our younger players to underline their potential and continue building their reputations.

“We know we’ve got to improve on the Worcestershire performance. We weren’t good enough with the ball as a collective and with the bat we got ourselves into a good position before losing wickets quickly. That should never have happened on that surface and against the Kookaburra ball.  

“We’ve got an honest group. We want to get better, the spirit is outstanding, the commitment and togetherness are second to none. But our delivery at key times in the game needs to improve on our last outing and we’ve been working on that.”

Robinson has named a 13-player squad. Sam Hain remains unavailable for personal reasons.

Squad

Ed Barnard
Chris Benjamin
Jacob Bethell
Danny Briggs
Michael Burgess (wk)
Alex Davies (C)
Olly Hannon-Dalby
Craig Miles
Dan Mousley
Will Rhodes
Chris Rushworth
Che Simmons
Rob Yates

Head-to-Head

This match will be the 35th First Class fixture between Warwickshire and Durham. Warwickshire and Durham have 12 wins each with 10 matches drawn.

Milestones

Alex Davies requires 105 runs to reach 6,000 career First Class career runs.
Alex Davies requires 80 runs to reach 10,000 career runs in all formats.
Danny Briggs requires 6 wickets to reach 350 First Class career wickets.
Danny Briggs requires 40 runs to reach 1,000 First Class runs for Warwickshire.
Craig Miles requires 4 wickets to reach 350 First Class career wickets.

How to Follow

Members and supporters can follow the match live in our Match Centre at edgbaston.com, which will include a free to watch Live Stream, with BBC commentary, and a live text commentary. You can also see a ball-by-ball feed and watch highlights of all the action.

Supporters can get involved by sending their match day comments and thoughts on X (Twitter) via @WarwickshireCCC and we’ll publish the best ones on our live text commentary in the Match Centre.

Supporters can also watch the Live Stream and get instant push notifications of all wickets, innings and match results via the Edgbaston app, which is free to download on iOS and Android.

Match updates will also be available across the Club’s social media accounts, simply search for @WarwickshireCCC.

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