Warwickshire bowlers celebrate in style
Newly-crowned Division One champions Warwickshire bowled out Nottinghamshire for 155 only to see their own batsmen endure a difficult start to the final match of their victorious LV= County Championship campaign.
Seamer Chris Wright claimed 4-28 as the weakened hosts, missing four first-choice batsmen for the final game of the season, were dismissed in just 49.4 overs.
Only Paul Franks offered any resistance of note in making 44 before he became Wright’s third victim.
But Notts hit back with Andy Carter taking three wickets in 10 balls to leave Warwickshire on 139 for six at the close, still 16 runs behind.
Warwickshire skipper Jim Troughton chose to bowl first after winning the toss, with Notts' batting line-up missing Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel due to England call-ups while overseas batsman Adam Voges had also returned home to Australia for a state training camp.
The decision to put the hosts in paid off with the third ball of the day as Chris Woakes bowled England Under-19 international Sam Kelsall, with the diminutive right-hander playing on for a duck in his home debut.
The more experienced pair of Neil Edwards and Riki Wessels were lbw in successive overs to leave Notts 18 for three, and Steven Mullaney was then caught at first slip off Keith Barker.
Captain Chris Read, so often the man for a crisis, was bowled by Wright, with James Taylor trapped in front by Rikki Clarke and Graeme White offering a simple chance to Clarke at slip off Jeetan Patel.
That left Notts to chew over a miserable lunch at 92 for seven, though Franks and Ben Phillips then put on 38 for the eighth wicket before the latter was caught behind off Wright for 13.
Franks chopped a cut shot onto his stumps and tail-ender Carter fended a throat ball from Wright to short-leg.
The batting performance was indicative of a team who have run out of steam somewhat in the last month of the season, although the bowlers showed some determination to keep Notts in the game.
Phillips had Ian Westwood plumb lbw in the fifth over and then accounted for Varun Chopra, as he became the latest batsman to drag the ball onto his stumps.
Troughton was caught behind after tea before Carter’s second spell left the champions reeling.
Darren Maddy chose to leave a straight delivery that removed his off-stump for 41, while Richard Johnson edged onto his own stumps in the next over and Chris Woakes drove at a wide delivery to be caught behind.
Clarke and Ian Blackwell, who were unbeaten on 21 and 28 respectively, steadied the ship with an unbroken 49 and Warwickshire will be confident that they can build a lead in excess of 50 as they look to end the season in style.