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Ambrose ends hundred drought

Nottinghamshire CCC

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Tim Ambrose’s first century in the LV= County Championship for three years moved Warwickshire closer to the Division One title and seriously damaged Nottinghamshire’s challenge at Edgbaston.

The leaders are now 31 points ahead of their Trent Bridge rivals after declaring at 504 for six and then taking four wickets for 188, although they were held up late in the day by unbeaten fifties from Alex Hales and Chris Read.

When bad light chalked off the last 10.2 overs - with the visitors still 316 behind - Hales had reached 80 and Read, ever the man for a crisis, 54 in a partnership worth 119.

With a full day lost on Wednesday, Warwickshire chose to press for an innings victory - though only 153 overs were left in the match when Nottinghamshire were set 355 to avoid the follow-on.

Chris Wright

Chris Wright impressed with ball and bat as Warwickshire edged ever closer to sealing the LV= County Championship Division One title

New-ball pair Chris Wright and Keith Barker made a fine start with neat catches removing Riki Wessels at square-leg and Michael Lumb at first slip.

James Taylor quickly fell to Wright, treading on his stumps as he played back defensively, and teenager Tom Milnes took a wicket with his fourth delivery when Will Porterfield brilliantly held a low chance from Adam Voges at gully.

The early troubles were in stark contrast to the home side’s dash to add 206 for the loss of one wicket in 37 overs.

While Ambrose knitted things together with an unbeaten 151 in nearly five hours, former Essex seamer Wright, with 53, and loan signing Ian Blackwell, 69 not out, registered their first half-centuries for the county.

Nottinghamshire began the day at a disadvantage with Andre Adams again missing due to a recurrence of his calf strain.

In his absence, Read rotated three seamers and gave Graeme White a couple of spells, during which the left-arm spinner broke the overnight partnership but conceded 87 runs in a dozen overs on the day.

Wright went to his fifty after driving White for six, again showing how valuable his batting can be in putting on 97 with Ambrose before Andy Carter held an overhead chance, back-pedalling from mid-off.

This wicket only exposed Nottinghamshire to some trademark hitting by Blackwell; the all-rounder got off the mark with a second-ball six off White and, in the next over from Paul Franks, Ambrose completed his eighth championship hundred with a 17th four.

Warwickshire banked a fifth batting point by reaching 400 with eight balls to spare and Blackwell pressed on with four more sixes in reaching 50 from 39 balls.

The unbroken seventh-wicket stand had produced 127 when Warwickshire called a halt to the innings.

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