Warwickshire take their time
Warwickshire worked hard to reawaken their flagging promotion challenge in LV County Championship on a shortened opening day against Derbyshire at Edgbaston.
Darren Maddy made 73, his highest championship score since his century against Northamptonshire in April, and Jonathan Trott grafted for an unbeaten 62 as the home side reached 209 for three by the close.
This is Warwickshire’s game in hand on the Division Two leaders Worcestershire and, after more than a month without a victory, they are trying to close a 29-point gap before they go head to head at New Road next week.
Derbyshire are still hoping to force their way into the promotion picture but a dead surface took the sting out of their limited attack. The best their bowlers could do was wait for a mistake by the batsmen.
Ian Westwood obliged in Graham Wagg’s third over of the morning when a loose drive resulted in a smart catch by Rikki Clarke at second slip, but a sequence of time-consuming partnerships kept Warwickshire on course to build a useful total.
With Tim Ambrose back from England duty, Tony Frost gave up the wicketkeeping role but stayed in the side, batting at number three, and partly justified the move by making 25 out of 71 in 21 overs with Maddy.
Frost played a couple of trademark cover drives before getting himself out shortly before lunch when his misplaced pull off medium-pacer Wavell Hinds found Paul Borrington at midwicket.
Maddy had made a sketchy start, getting off the mark after half an hour with an edged boundary, but his game gradually expanded as he reached 50 in the four-day format for the first time since breaking a thumb in May.
Having hit 10 fours in three hours, he was also lured into an error, cutting a short ball from Jonathan Clare to point, where Wagg held a good low catch.
The in-form Trott, who made 92 in Warwickshire’s NatWest Pro40 defeat by Surrey on Monday, helped Maddy put on 56 and moved on to his own half-century during another stubborn partnership with Jim Troughton.
Trott, with eight fours from 147 deliveries, occasionally lifted the tempo with a bludgeoning drive but Troughton, after starting with a glorious straight boundary, faced 82 balls for his 22 not out.
The light worsened after tea and only 9.3 overs were bowled before the umpires took the players off for the third and last time.