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Warwickshire snuff out MCC resistance

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Warwickshire curtailed MCC’s comeback with victory by an innings and 29 runs before lunch on the last day of the Champion County game at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Overnight centurion Joe Denly and Peter Trego extended their fifth-wicket partnership to three figures this morning before Oliver Hannon-Dalby snared the latter for 87 from 76 balls.

On 146, Denly - who had retired hurt with a migraine in his first knock before returning to make 47 - was one of four second-innings victims for Rikki Clarke as MCC lost their last three wickets in the space of 10 balls.

Some consolation they can take is 402 all out being their highest total in a Champion County contest at Abu Dhabi.

Having piled up 561 for six declared on the back of hundreds from Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield, Warwickshire yesterday made their opponents follow on, 431 behind.

Rikki Clarke & Joe Denly

Rikki Clarke, who claimed 4-33 as MCC were dismissed for 402, ousts Joe Denly for 146 © Graham Morris/www.cricketpix.com

Denly’s ton, plus fifties from Sam Northeast and Trego, underpinned a strong response, but it was not enough to make last year’s Division One winners bat again.

MCC head of cricket John Stephenson, manager of the MCC team in this game, said: "To be bowled out for 130 in the first innings meant that we were always going to be up against it. Credit to Warwickshire, they bowled fantastically well, especially under the floodlight conditions on day two.

"The way the MCC guys played in the second innings showed what good players they are. On paper this team is extremely strong, but after losing the toss and being asked to field first on a pitch like that, (it) was always going to be a bit of a struggle.

Denly and Trego resumed on day four with 119 and 57 respectively of MCC’s 308 for four and took their alliance to 121 before the latter was caught at first slip. In the next over Chris Wright had Ned Eckersley held at third slip.

James Middlebrook offered some support to Denly but was caught behind for 17 off Clarke. Denly was further frustrated by Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton setting the field to force him into singles, putting Simon Kerrigan on strike.

Perhaps distracted by the battle to face the bowling, the Middlesex batsman lost his middle stump to Clarke who in the same over accounted for Steve Kirby.

Six balls later Wright ousted Simon Kerrigan for his eighth wicket of the game and second-innings figures of 3-75, which was only bettered by Clarke’s 4-33 from 12 miserly overs.

Stephenson added: "With respect to the day-night format, the match went really well on the whole. All the pink balls stood up fantastically well, they were very durable, had good visibility throughout, and there were no complaints from any of the players.

“I'm really pleased with how things went from that perspective - I just wish we could have got a few more runs in our first innings."

Warwickshire play away to Oxford MCCU next week before they begin their LV= County Championship defence at home to promoted Derbyshire on April 10.

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