An innings victory with maximum bonus points over Leicestershire lifted the Bears 33 points clear of third-place
First-team coach Jim Troughton was delighted with Warwickshire’s “really strong win” at Leicester yesterday which strengthened their position at the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two.
An innings victory with maximum bonus points over Leicestershire lifted the Bears 33 points clear of third-placed Sussex, whom they visit next week, with two games to go.
We are excited about how we played at Leicester, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We know we have got eight huge days cricket against two very good teams ahead of us.Jim Troughton
Further good news arrived when, shortly after polishing off the Foxes, Warwickshire heard that Sussex had lost ground having been beaten by Durham at the Riverside.
That means a draw or win at Hove next week would secure the Bears promotion back to Division One with a game (at home to Kent the following week) to spare. Their fate is very much in their own hands.,
“We wanted to push for a really strong win and maximum points against Leicester,” Troughton said. “To achieve that and then for Durham to do us a favour by beating Sussex made it a good week for us.
“Our destiny is in our own hands which is exactly how you want it. We are not looking for favours from anyone. We have just got to put in two really good performances in these last two games. We are confident we can get the results we need.
“To win at Leicester in three days was very pleasing because the players have earned themselves an extra day’s rest and that bit of breathing space is really valuable at this end stage of a long season.
“We are excited about how we played at Leicester, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We know we have got eight huge days cricket against two very good teams ahead of us and we are just focused on that now.”
Warwickshire will play those last two games without England all-rounder Chris Woakes who has been made unavailable by the England and Wales Cricket Board, a decision for which the Bears had prepared.
“We knew Chris might be unavailable,” Troughton said. “So we only took a skeleton team to Leicester with two youngsters to share the twelfth man duties so that Ryan Sidebottom and Olly Hannon-Dalby could go down to Somerset with the 2nd XI and get some work in.
“Both those guys have bowled really well for us in the first team this season and I am confident that whoever comes in at Hove will do a good job.”