By Brian Halford

Day 3

Heavy overnight rain left the field at Edgbaston too wet for cricket on Day 3 so the match was abandoned as a draw at noon.

Day 2

Billy Root, brother of England batsman Joe, scored his maiden first-class half-century as Leeds/Bradford MCCU gave Warwickshire’s seamers some valuable pre-season match practice on the second day of their three-day friendly at Edgbaston.

Root defied for 62 (133 balls, eight fours) as the students made 291 for nine in reply to the Bears’ total of 350 for eight.

The Bears’ five pacemen all got some useful overs in their legs in their opening first class match of the season with Keith Barker (three for 61), Chris Woakes (two for 58) and Boyd Rankin (two for 42) among the wickets.

In 8.1 overs in their second innings before bad light closed in, Warwickshire advanced to 45 for one.

After Leeds/Bradford resumed in the morning on 30 for one, Woakes was first to strike when Steve Bullen edged to Rikki Clarke at second slip.

Root and Christian Davis added 62 in 18 overs but were parted courtesy of a horrible running mix-up. Davis played Clarke to mid-wicket and differed with Root’s opinion that there was a single there. He was well short when Jonathan Trott’s throw reached Clarke beside the stumps at the bowler’s end.

Barker then struck with the first ball after lunch which George Scott edged to Tim Ambrose. The left-armer came could have had three wickets in the over had Varun Chopra not grassed a tough chance at slip and another edge flown over the cordon.

Root’s resistance ended when he tried to cut Barker but played on and Rankin then struck twice, Logan Weston edging a fine, lifting delivery and Liam Watkinson slashing to gully.

That was 180 for seven but Ashley Gowers (38 from 60 balls) and Alex Lilley (51 not out from 76) knuckled down to add 53 before the former top-edged a pull at Trott to deep mid-wicket. Gowers had been fortunate, early in his innings, to survive an lbw shout from a teasing, mesmeric, beautifully-flighted delivery from Ian Westwood during one of just two overs of spin in the innings.

Lilley found another stubborn in Archie Ogden and the ninth-wicket pair added 56 before Ogden top-edged Barker to substitute fielder Olly Hannon-Dalby at mid-wicket to trigger the declaration.

When the Bears went back in, Sam Hain fell to the fourth ball when left-armer Lilley took a return catch from a forward-defensive shot inside-edged on to pad. But Trott (29 not out) and Woakes (16 not out) scored briskly through to the close, the former’s first six scoring shots all being fours.

Day 1:

Warwickshire openers Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood launched the first-class season at Edgbaston today with an opening stand of 152 against Leeds/Bradford MCCU.

After the Bears were put into bat on a good pitch, the former captains remained unbeaten throughout the first session to launch their side towards a hefty total of 350 for six declared.

Chopra followed up his half-century in the friendly against Gloucestershire on Tuesday with 86 (174 balls, nine fours and a six) while Westwood’s 75 spanned 112 balls with 13 fours.

Tim Ambrose added a punchy half-century (54, 67 balls, five fours and a six) from number six before captain Ian Bell’s declaration left the students 11 overs batting before the close. They were 30 for one at stumps.

Chopra and Westwood, whose productive opening stands were such a pillar of the Bears’ county championship triumph in 2012, started as they meant to go on this season with a stand of 152 in 41 overs before Westwood gave Liam Watkinson the charge and was stumped.

After Bell (25 from 44 balls) played on to Alex Lilley, Watkinson, the 24-year-old son of former Lancashire player and coach Mike, added the scalp of Chopra who nicked an attempted cut.

When, three overs later, Sam Hain sent up a catch to mid-on to supply Archie Ogden with his first wicket in first-class cricket, the Bears were 215 for four. But Jonathan Trott and Ambrose added 73 in 14 overs before Trott, having pulled Billy Root for six, top-edged a pull at Ogden and was caught at point for 47 (67 balls).

Ambrose advanced to a 55-ball half-century before the bowlers got a chance to inflict some early damage. Chris Woakes struck with his eighth delivery, which Henry Thompson edged to first slip where Chopra took a sharp catch.