Middlesex v Warwickshire, LV County Championship
Warwickshire completed their second victory of the season in the LV= County Championship with a five wicket victory over Middlesex at Uxbridge after chasing a target of 110 for victory.
Toby Roland-Jones and Adam Voges batted for 40 minutes on the final morning, erasing the first innings deficit and taking Middlesex into a lead of 10 before a bat pad catch by Varun Chopra off Jeetan Patel brought Roland-Jones’ innings to a close for 16.
Gareth Berg 12 was next to go, again to Patel edging him to Tim Ambrose before key man, Adam Voges gave Chris Woakes a return catch immediately after completing his half century.
Ollie Rayner became Patel’s third victim of the morning when Rikki Clarke pounced at slip with the lead on eighty 83.
With lunch delayed, a last wicket partnership of 33 between Collymore and Patel ended when Patel was taken by Ambrose off Woakes for 19 setting Warwickshire a target of 110 for victory.
With Roland-Jones unable to bowl with an ankle injury, Collymore and Rayner opened the bowling and Rayner struck immediately when first innings hero for the Bears. Varun Chopra was caught by Malan for two and he followed up in his next over when Evans followed without scoring to a Dexter catch .
Westwood was next to go caught at second slip by Voges off Collymore for six with just 21 on the board and after almost 15 overs of watchful play. Javid 19, became the fourth victim with Warwickshire 54-4 and still not quite at halfway towards their goal.
Tim Ambrose played several attacking strokes, hitting six fours in his 47 until picking out Sam Robson off Patel with another 12 runs still needed. But Rikki Clarke and Chris Woakes were determined that this should be the second victory of the season for the Bears as they completed their win with consecutive fours.
Warwickshire took 22 points and Middlesex 4 points
Warwickshire had a good third day at Uxbridge, dismissing Middlesex for 309 in their first innings and having enforced the follow-on with a lead of 177 had reduced the home side to 147-5 by the close still 30 runs in arrears.
Meanwhile, Adam Voges completed his century and continued to chip the Bears’ lead away with a partnership of 72 with Ravi Patel for the ninth wicket before offering Jeetan Patel a return catch off his own bowling for 150
The innings closed on 309 when Collymore was well caught at mid-off by Javid and with a first innings lead of 177 Varun Chopra enforced the follow-on during the afternoon session with a minimum of 51 overs left in the day.
Chris Woakes picked up the wicket of Malan, playing on for three and just before tea, Robson 29 steered Rankin to Clarke at slip.
After tea, Dexter and Denly posted a partnership of 68 before Barker’s extra pace forced Dexter 36 to edge to Ambrose for thirty six and then picked up Denly’s wicket when he edged an attempted drive back into his stumps for thirty seven.
This brought Simpson and Voges back to the wicket and they looked to be taking Middlesex through to the close until Rankin dismissed Simpson for 78 balls before the close when they were 147-5 still thirty runs in arrears with just five wickets in hand, Voges was still at the wicket on 15.
There was an early wicket on the second morning with overnight batsman Ateeq Javid caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off Collymore for twenty two, but Tim Ambrose joined Varun Chopra and made a quick 60 from 78 balls as the fifth wicket pair added exactly 100 before Ambrose drove a full toss from Rayner to Malan at short extra cover.
Chris Woakes made a rapid 34 either side of lunch as Warwickshire accelerated their scoring rate and with skipper Varun Chopra completing the fourth double century innings of his career, Warwickshire passed 400.
Clarke made a run-a-ball 22 before Chopra brought the Bears’ innings to a close on 486-6 with his personal score of an undefeated228, just five runs short of equalling his highest personal total.
In reply Middlesex had eight overs to survive before tea and after Robson and Malan had quickly posted twenty four runs from the first three overs, Keith Barker removed both Malan and Denly in the same over to sharp catches by Patel at third slip.
In the next over from Chris Wright, Robson gave Patel a third slip catch and Dexter followed next ball nibbling outside the off stump and edging to Ambrose as Middlesex floundered on 28-4 having lost four wickets in nine balls.
Adam Voges and John Simpson saw Middlesex to tea without further loss and in the final session of the day, the fifth wicket pair posted the highest partnership of the match, going to stumps still together on 177-4, having added an unbeaten 149 for the wicket, as Middlesex trailed by 309 at the close of the second day.
Jim Troughton was again ruled out of consideration for selection when Warwickshire visited Uxbridge for their latest LV=CC match against Middlesex, so it was Varun Chopra who successfully won an important toss and chose to bat first.
Tony Roland-Jones was denied Chopra’s wicket twice during the early exchanges when a juggling Malan put down a low chance at slip and then Adam Voges managed to get both hands to a high chance at third slip but could only parry the ball away to third-man before Chopra had scored.
On a slow wicket with the occasional variable bounce, Ian Westwood and Chopra played cautiously before opening up against some of the Middlesex change bowlers, to go to lunch on 103-0 with Westwood having reached a solid half century.
After lunch, Dexter finally made a breakthrough when Westwood 65 mistimed a pull shot and Malan picked up the catch with the Bears 113-1.
The afternoon session was one of consolidation for Warwickshire with Chopra completing his century and now partnered by Laurie Evans, adding just 68 runs from 33 overs during the session after the combined spin of Patel and Rayner had made scoring difficult.
Evans was finally dismissed during the 81st over when he tried to pull a short delivery from Roland Jones, but could only watch as the ball sailed through to the ’keeper, Simpson.
Middlesex took the new ball but were hampered by the absence of Collymore, who had earlier turned an ankle when fielding and without their regular opening bowler their depleted attack found progress difficult as Warwickshire closed the day on 269-2 with Chopra unbeaten on 141 and Javid 16.