Ambrose hundred puts champions in control
A fluent century by Tim Ambrose enabled Warwickshire to pile the pressure on Durham and push for a first win in their defence of the Division One title in the LV= County Championship at Edgbaston.
A match that looked evenly balanced with the champions on 64 for four went all one way as Ambrose - supported by 92 from Rikki Clarke - set up a declaration at 351 for eight, leaving Durham a testing target of 413 for victory.
Using up five of the minimum 101 overs available to them, Durham had more than one anxious moment in chalking off 11 runs for the loss of Keaton Jennings, lbw first ball to Chris Wright.
Ambrose's confidently constructed 105 from 126 balls is the 30-year-old Australian-born wicketkeeper's first hundred since revealing in September last year that a battle with depression almost ended his cricket career.
Losing his England place - despite scoring 76 not out against West Indies in his last appearance during February 2009 - became a sparking point for his problems and in 2010 he reached a nadir when making only one fifty in 11 championship matches.
The darkness began to lift in 2011 and by last summer he was not only playing for the top county but enjoying his cricket and scoring his first century for three years, an unbeaten 151 versus Nottinghamshire as Warwickshire closed in on the title.
Contentment and runs have followed him into a new season. Limited to a cameo in the rain-hit opener against Derbyshire, he showed signs of good form with 31 on the first day against Durham and carried this to full fruition in his second innings.
Successive three-figure partnerships with Jim Troughton and Clarke enabled Warwickshire to take charge after the top order had wobbled versus the Durham seamers in the morning session.
With wicketkeeper Phil Mustard holding routine chances for the first three wickets, they were only 125 ahead when Laurie Evans was fourth out, attempting to pull a short ball but skewing to mid-off.
Ben Stokes removed Evans and Varun Chopra, the latter giving a leg-side catch to Mustard, in a spell of 2-18 but probably bowled better when he returned to claim a leg-before decision against Troughton on 45.
By then Ambrose was in full flow, particularly strong square of the wicket with 14 fours in his 11th career century, and Durham were on the back foot as Clarke imposed himself after an initial struggle against Stokes.
Their partnership was worth 109 - taking Warwickshire's lead well past 300 - before Ambrose was trapped in front by Callum Thorp.
Clarke hit 13 fours until he was stumped, advancing down the pitch to Scott Borthwick, and at the declaration Chris Woakes was on 38 for an unbeaten match return of 90.