Woakes the genuine article
Chris Woakes continued his route to genuine all-rounder status with his fifth century in the LV= County Championship as Warwickshire attempted to grind down Surrey at Edgbaston.
The 23-year-old England contender batted for nearly four and a half hours to reach an unbeaten 118 and achieve a milestone with Jeetan Patel before the Division One leaders were prised out for 571.
Their partnership of 127 in 24 overs - a new Warwickshire record for the ninth wicket against Surrey - helped set the visitors a massive 422 simply to avoid the follow-on. In the circumstances they were happy to get to 109 for one in 34 overs at the close.
There was nearly a disastrous start when Rory Burns was dropped, first ball, behind the wicket and it was not long before Woakes landed a new blow by trapping Zafar Ansari lbw from 10.
However, Burns made the most of his let-off with 53 not out - his second half-century in a row - and Arun Harinath, in his first championship match for a year, contributed 44 to a stand that has produced 83 so far.
Woakes, named this week in the England Lions squad to meet Australia A next month, and captain Jim Troughton, who fell to the last ball of the morning for 119, achieved a rare distinction in both completing hundreds in successive matches. They registered their first three-figure scores of the season in a narrow defeat by Somerset in the previous fixture at Taunton.
Although Murali Kartik kept going through 41 overs to take 4-116, Surrey’s bowlers were buried under a mass of unflattering statistics, none worse than conceding more than half of the 60 extras in no-balls.
They were by no means out of contention when Warwickshire resumed at 322 for six, but the one-sided shape of the second day was determined when Troughton and Woakes extended their overnight stand to 122 after 36 overs together.
Woakes hit 15 fours in another eye-catching performance, while Troughton’s innings was more measured, spanning 337 minutes and bringing only nine boundaries before he tickled a catch behind the wicket.
When Keith Barker fell in similar fashion, Kartik had two wickets in successive overs either side of lunch but this only brought in Patel for an entertaining display of old-fashioned lower-order hitting.
A strike off Gareth Batty cleared the long-on rope and many of the New Zealander’s 11 fours were driven down the ground off the seamers until he top-edged a return catch to Kartik after making 76 from 82 balls.
Surrey were only released from the field when Boyd Rankin was run out from the first ball of the 158th over.