Lancashire suffer backlash

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Chris Woakes

Young seamer Chris Woakes removed Lancashire's top three as Warwickshire made an impressive start at Old Trafford

Warwickshire bounced back well from defeat to Yorkshire in the opening round of the season to dominate the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Ian Westwood’s men reduced the Red Rose to 14 for four within the first seven overs of this Division One clash, thanks to three wickets from England Lions seamer Chris Woakes.

The 21-year-old took advantage of early movement to dismiss Tom Smith, Paul Horton and Stephen Moore cheaply on the way to 3-44 from 20 overs.

But the hosts mounted a recovery with a fifth-wicket partnership of 133 between South Africa batsman Ashwell Prince and all-rounder Steven Croft.

Lancashire, who were lifted by seeing all-rounder Andrew Flintoff bat in the nets at lunch for the first time since his knee operation in August, were finally bowled out for 253 inside 86 overs.

James Anderson then boosted the hosts with the ball when he bowled Varun Chopra in his second over. Warwickshire closed on 13 for one from eight overs in reply.

Left-hander Prince top-scored for Lancashire with 82 off 153 balls, including eight fours and a straight six off Imran Tahir, while Croft added a useful 64 and Glen Chapple 54 not out.

After Westwood won the toss and elected to bowl, the four quickfire wickets were all caught in the slips by either Ian Bell or Jonathan Trott - Bell clinging on three times.

Smith fell from the third ball of the day to Woakes, who soon undid both Horton and Moore with extra bounce. Chilton fell to Carter’s first ball courtesy of a loose waft outside off-stump.

The experienced right-hander was Carter’s first of three victims and Prince was the second after lunch, also with the first ball of a new spell.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff makes a surprise early return to net practice at lunch - for the first time since his knee operation in August

Prince and Croft made batting seem a lot easier either side of the break. Croft, who had survived three strong lbw shouts from Carter early in his innings, brought up his half-century two overs after lunch and Prince’s came shortly afterwards.

But both fell within the space of 10 overs to halt their side’s recovery. Croft slapped a friendly Naqaash Tahir delivery to Chopra at point to leave the score at 147 for five.

And Prince then pulled a Carter short ball straight down the throat of Naqaash at deep square-leg with only another 21 runs added.

Luke Sutton and Chapple navigated their side beyond 200 in the midst of a seventh-wicket partnership of 59 before the wicketkeeper was caught for 33 by Jim Troughton at backward point off the medium pace of Trott.

Anderson was bowled for nought in Trott’s next over and Lancashire were back in bother at 227 for eight. Imran snared Simon Kerrigan before Carter had Sajid Mahmood caught in the slips by Rikki Clarke to complete the innings and finish with 3-64 from 19.4 overs.

Chopra fell for a solitary run with Warwickshire’s total on eight, but Westwood reached nine not out and nightwatchman Naqaash played out 17 scoreless deliveries as they reached the close without further loss.

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