Warks end home hoodoo
Warwickshire stormed to their first home win in the LV County Championship for 17 months after a spectacular collapse by Glamorgan at Edgbaston.
Having drawn all seven home fixtures, the Division Two champions took nine wickets in two hours to complete their first victory in Birmingham since beating Sussex by an innings and 34 runs in April 2007.
Glamorgan resumed on 122 for one, needing a further 281 to spoil Warwickshire’s unbeaten record for the season, but lost seven for six in 48 balls and crashed to defeat by 179 runs.
The margin was only that close because David Harrison smashed an unbeaten 64 from 51 balls in lifting the total to 223.
While the Welshmen have finished in the bottom two in the table for the third season in a row, there is optimism at Edgbaston where Ashley Giles can plan for a return to Division One only a year after becoming director of cricket.
The former England spin bowler has re-built confidence after last season’s relegation under Mark Greatbatch and in particular unearthed a potential match-winning bowler in Chris Woakes.
The 19-year-old local discovery blitzed Glamorgan with four wickets in 22 balls and, with a personal career-best match return of 10-162 he is the youngest bowler to become leading wicket-taker in Warwickshire’s history.
A second innings return of 4-94 gave Woakes 45 in all first-class appearances.
Seam partner Neil Carter capped an outstanding match by taking 5-67 after scoring two half-centuries with the bat.
With only five victories – and two of those in succession over the last 11 days of the season – Warwickshire set a record for the fewest wins by the Division Two champions in the nine seasons of a two-tier championship.
A strong finish, which exposed fragility in Glamorgan’s cricket, was enough to pull them clear of Worcestershire, who led the division from late July until the final week.
The pitch helped the seam bowlers on each morning and Glamorgan, after their promising start overnight, were unable to cope with Woakes and Carter as the ground dried out after early-morning dew.
With the ball darting about, Woakes put Glamorgan on the slide when Tom Maynard and Michael Powell gave catches to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose in the space of three deliveries in the fourth over.
Rikki Clarke held a sharp catch at second slip to remove top-scorer Gareth Rees (54) and there was no stopping the retreat as Woakes took two more wickets in successive balls.
Good bowling was also backed up by faultless catching with Ambrose and Clarke each holding four chances.
Jason Gillespie, in his farewell appearance, and Harrison delayed the finish by putting on 31 until Carter sent the Australia paceman back to the pavilion to a standing ovation by the Birmingham crowd.
Adam Shantry also kept Warwickshire waiting for their trophy presentation by making 18 out of 64 with Harrison before he was bowled by Carter.