Wright runs riot against MCC
Chris Wright ran through MCC’s batting line-up in stunning fashion to strengthen Warwickshire’s hold on the Champion County fixture in Abu Dhabi.
The Bears pressed on to a mammoth total of 561 for six declared today, having been given the perfect platform when Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield shared a partnership of 308 on day one.
MCC were then left in disarray as Wright followed up his run-out of Sam Northeast with four wickets in 14 balls after tea.
Wright’s destructive burst - which came after Joe Denly had retired on 19 due to illness - was followed by breakthroughs for Rikki Clarke and winter arrival Oliver Hannon-Dalby as MCC closed on 73 for seven, still 488 in arrears.
“Given that we got over 550 on the board, we were expecting it to play a bit flatter during the MCC innings, but we managed to get it to do a little bit, which is very encouraging,” said Wright.
“I'm not sure there is an issue batting in the twilight period as such - we batted through it yesterday and it didn't really do much - and we didn't actually take a wicket until the lights came into full force tonight, so I think this issue with the twilight period is a bit of a myth.
"We are now hoping to wrap this innings up without the seamers doing too much more work early on, and I expect we will then enforce the follow-on if we can. The plan is to then make early inroads with the new ball and let the spinners finish the job.”
Warwickshire’s progress with the bat had proved far more serene earlier in the day as Laurie Evans and skipper Jim Troughton prospered to the tune of 72 and 54 respectively.
Troughton, keen to get forward at every opportunity, was dropped on 19 by MCC wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley off Peter Trego, while Evans profited from a series of back-foot strokes, particularly through the off side.
Brisk cameos from Tim Ambrose, Clarke and Ateeq Javid further boosted Warwickshire’s total, with the latter two putting on an unbroken 54 in little more than 10 overs prior to Troughton’s declaration.
MCC suffered an early setback when Northeast was run out by Wright for seven when backing up at the non-striker’s end.
The tall seamer then settled into a wonderful rhythm during the evening session to put Warwickshire in total command.
After the unwell Denly had left the field, Wright produced an outswinger to clean up Dale Benkenstein at the start of his 11th over, a double-wicket-maiden that ended with Dawid Malan falling plumb lbw to one that came back into the batsman.
Trego became the third batsman in succession to fall without scoring when he got a thick edge to Porterfield in Wright’s next set of six and things soon got worse for MCC when Jimmy Adams was caught at second slip for 20.
Eckersley then pulled Clarke to midwicket and Simon Kerrigan was lbw offering no shot to Hannon-Dalby as the wickets continued to tumble.
The experienced pairing of James Middlebrook and Steve Kirby made it through to stumps, but MCC’s position remained perilous in the extreme.