Trott and Chopra punish Sussex
Jonathan Trott and Varun Chopra struck centuries as Warwickshire took the initiative on the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Warwickshire, who have won their opening two games this season, were in trouble early on after being put in, with Trott’s England team-mate Ian Bell falling for a duck as they slumped to 13 for two.
But a surprisingly dry and easy-paced pitch offered no room for error, with Trott, making his first domestic appearance of the summer, and Chopra batting outstandingly in a stand of 219, a new third-wicket record for Warwickshire against Sussex.
Trott made 132 not out - he hit 21 fours in his 233-ball stay - and Chopra 105 as the visitors closed in a strong position; they were 281 for five.
While Monty Panesar, one of four England players on duty, gave the Sussex attack a measure of control despite being hampered by a strong breeze, it was hard work for the seamers once Chopra and, in particular, Trott had played themselves in.
In the seven overs immediately after lunch, they plundered 40 runs, including six boundaries, to seize control and, as overcast conditions gave way to blue skies, batting became seemingly straightforward.
Trott has a liking for the Sussex bowling; on his county debut in 2003, he made 134 and, two years later, scored a career-best 226.
The 31-year-old did not offer a chance as he eased to his 38th first-class hundred, which he reached with an off-drive off James Anyon.
Chopra was no less impressive and a scampered single took him to three figures. He had added five more when off-spinner Luke Wells claimed only his fifth first-class wicket; the batsman played across the line and fell leg before.
Panesar, benefiting from a switch of ends, then had skipper Jim Troughton taken at slip by Michael Yardy and Steve Magoffin returned with the second new ball to pin Darren Maddy in front as he shaped to drive.
The day had begun well for Sussex after Yardy won the toss. Magoffin struck in his second over when Will Porterfield edged to second slip and Bell, in sharp contrast to England colleague Trott, lost his middle stump to Anyon.