Woakes helps stave off defeat
Chris Woakes’ defiant 80 ensured Warwickshire warmed up for their bid to complete a double by holding off a late Nottinghamshire charge and claiming a draw in the final match of their LV= County Championship campaign.
Warwickshire - already confirmed as Division One champions going into their final match at Trent Bridge - take on Hampshire in tomorrow's Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord's.
They were at times struggling to avoid going into that clash on the back of a defeat as Paul Franks and Luke Fletcher, with 4-47 and 3-58 respectively, starred.
But Woakes held their second innings together after an early slump to 32 for three after they were set an unlikely 421 to win from 90 overs, putting on 57 with Ian Westwood and 89 with Ian Blackwell as the visitors recovered to 224 for five.
Franks’ three wickets in eight balls threw the game back up in the air before Keith Barker and Chris Wright, who made 44 and 19, batted out the final 12.5 overs to deny the hosts a win that would have lifted them up to third in the table.
With a 395-run overnight lead, Notts strangely chose to bat on for four overs, during which they added 25 runs but declared on 469 for eight before Franks and Fletcher, unbeaten on 86 and 42, had had the opportunity to reach their respective milestones.
Fletcher quickly hit his straps with ball in hand as Varun Chopra nicked behind to Chris Read.
The same combination then worked to good effect twice more as Darren Maddy was undone by extra bounce and left-hander Jim Troughton fended at one angled across him.
Rikki Clarke began the Warwickshire fightback as he and Westwood shared a partnership of 46 until his leg stump was removed by Franks soon after lunch.
Westwood's resistance was eventually ended by spinner Graeme White, who induced a catch at slip.
However, Woakes, who smashed two sixes off White to reach fifty, found another able partner in Blackwell either side of tea.
At that point, there appeared little likelihood of a result until Franks first had Blackwell, who had struck three fours and two sixes from 85 balls, brilliantly caught at slip by Mullaney and then pinned Richard Johnson lbw next ball.
When Woakes was caught at short cover, also off Franks, the tension grew - but Notts could not ram home their advantage, even with the use of the new ball for the final 10 overs.