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Westwood and Evans prosper on tough day

Half-centuries from Ian Westwood and Laurie Evans underpinned Warwickshire's battle to reach 254 for six in their LV= County Championship Division One meeting with Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston.

While Westwood made 68 against one of his favourite opponents, Evans entered new territory with an unbeaten 85 - his highest score in the competition since moving from Surrey in 2010.

Tested by short-pitched bowling early in his innings, he was not found wanting when batting for more than four hours in his second championship match since a broken hand forced him to retire after making 59 against Middlesex in May.

However, relentless bowling by Nottinghamshire on a dry pitch made it a tough first day as last year's champions reacquainted themselves with Edgbaston.

Eight weeks since their last home match - the gap largely caused by the ICC Champions Trophy schedule in June - they initially owed much to Westwood's diligence in adding to a sequence of good scores in this fixture.

Starting with 171 in September 2011 he has made 337 runs in four innings on his home ground against the visitors from Trent Bridge.

All four seamers had their moments, none more so than the wily Andre Adams - who frequently got the ball past the outside edge in a first stint of 8-4-7-1.

A lunchtime score of 54 for two after 31 overs confirmed the extent of the problems facing batsmen.

Luke Fletcher produced a ball that Varun Chopra had to play, an edge to second slip securing the wicket of an in-form batsman who made a double-century in last week's win against Middlesex.

Adams was next to strike, bowling Will Porterfield after a stifling passage of play in which the Ireland captain scored 10 out of 15 added in 14.5 overs.

Westwood, dropped twice in the slips off Ajmal Shahzad, eventually got through to his fifty from 122 balls before drilling the first delivery of a new Samit Patel spell to mid-on after putting on 89 with Evans.

Some of the brightest batting was curtailed by individual errors. Tim Ambrose tickled a leg-side catch off Adams and Chris Woakes, after two fours and a six, was attempting to cut when bowled by Patel.

After Rikki Clarke pulled Adams to midwicket, Evans shouldered responsibility for securing a second batting point; so far, he has hit a dozen boundaries and faced 228 balls.

Although Warwickshire have won only two matches in defence of their title, a late charge cannot be ruled out.

Yet they will have to produce that without Chris Wright, who is expected to be out for six months with a stress fracture in his back.

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