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Bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire’s woes increase with defeat at rivals
5:50pm Friday 10th August 2012 in Match Reports
WORCESTERSHIRE’S LV= County Championship Division One survival hopes suffered a blow after losing to Warwickshire by seven wickets despite having posted a first-innings lead of 114.
The County were dreaming of their second four-day win of the season at the half-way stage, but once again brittle batting proved their undoing as they were rolled over for just 145 in their second innings.
This set the hosts 260 to win but Bears openers Ian Westwood (83) and Varun Chopra (58) put on 100 for the first wicket as the Edgbaston outfit cruised to their total with more than a day to spare.
In a match of few highlights for the New Road side, there was another show of potential by Chris Russell, who emerged from his championship debut with a match return of 6-117.
Warwickshire’s first win in six games opened a potentially telling gap at the top of the table but Worcestershire’s defeat leaves them bottom.
However, there could be many twists ahead. Worcestershire are at home in a relegation clash with second-from-bottom Lancashire starting on Wednesday.
The result of the Edgbaston match was signposted on the second day after the visitors collapsed in their second innings when another 75 to 100 runs could have cranked up the pressure on Warwickshire. Instead, the hosts were comfortably able to reach the highest total of the match in registering their fifth win of the season.
Westwood and Chopra provided a calming influence by putting on 79 before the close on Thursday and, on the resumption, they completed their third century stand of the summer.
A cautious start against the seam-and-spin of Alan Richardson and Moeen Ali saw Chopra reach his half-century from 85 balls but he was dismissed after Worcestershire’s first bowling change.
Chopra was trapped in front to Russell’s fourth delivery, but the pugnacious Westwood advanced to a solid half-century after facing 117 balls.
Gaining in authority against the spinners, he danced down the pitch and drove Brett D’Oliveira through the leg-side as Warwickshire reached 171-1 at lunch.
Westwood went soon after the interval, checking his shot and giving a return chance to Russell, and Moeen’s turn accounted for William Porterfield (37) with a neat slip catch by Vikram Solanki .
Warwickshire were able to call on the experience of Jim Troughton (34 not out) and Darren Maddy (45no) in scoring the last 70 runs together.