Warwickshire poised to go top

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Chris Woakes

Chris Woakes added three wickets to his one yesterday as Warwickshire forced visitors Nottinghamshire to follow on at Edgbaston

Title contenders Warwickshire remain on course for a ninth LV= County Championship win of the season that would put them top of Division One after defending champions Nottinghamshire collapsed at Edgbaston.

Notts struggled against the swinging ball and they failed to capitalise on half-centuries from Alex Hales and Darren Bravo as they slumped from 133 to one to 238 all out.

The visitors lost their last six first-innings wickets for 54 in 19 overs, falling some way short of Warwickshire’s total of 574 and being forced to follow on.

They then lost five more in seven overs in an eventful final session against a disciplined attack - led by England one-day international seamer Chris Woakes - to close the day on 136 for six, still 200 behind.

Woakes claimed 4-91 to take his season’s haul to 55 and was well supported by Rikki Clarke, Boyd Rankin and Chris Wright, who is on loan from Essex, as the ball swung on the warmest day of the match so far.

Hales and Bravo appeared in no trouble when they added 79 for Notts’ second wicket, but they fell apart after the former thin edged to Varun Chopra at first slip.

Riki Wessels edged an inswinger from Clarke to give Chopra his third catch of the innings and Steven Mullaney then trod on his leg stump as he played back to Rankin.

Chris Read survived a chance to Ian Westwood at short-leg before lunch, but he departed to the sixth ball after the interval when he thin edged Woakes to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

Woakes struck again in his next over when Paul Franks was lbw to a full length ball and Bravo gifted his wicket after he had completed his first championship half-century.

The West Indies left-hander had survived rather uncertainly for his 124-ball 70 but he swished his bat in anger when he drove Clarke straight to Westwood at deep cover.

Clarke and Wright wasted no time in mopping up the tail and Warwickshire had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on.

Notts stuttered again when left-hander Karl Turner was caught behind, trying to get his gloves out of the way of a rearing delivery which gave Rankin 50 wickets in the season for the first time.

Hales and Bravo steadied the ship with another half-century partnership for the second wicket, but a 40-minute stoppage gave Warwickshire the chance to regroup.

Bravo edged Wright to Ambrose and trudged disconsolately back to the pavilion, apparently unhappy with the decision of umpire Nick Cook.

Wessels soon followed when he prodded Wright to second slip and Mullaney completed a miserable day when he gave Rankin a return catch as he tried to turn a lifter to leg.

Notts sent in Graeme White as nightwatchman but he failed to last the day when he went lbw to Wright before Read edged Rankin to Ambrose to leave Notts in disarray.

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