Brathwaite keeps Durham in contest
Warwickshire 345 for 7 v Durham
Warwickshire made a fine start to their County Championship clash with Durham, only for the hosts to hit back with three late wickets at the Riverside. Each one went to Durham's promising paceman Ruel Brathwaite, following up his five-wicket haul against Sussex on Saturday, to leave the visitors on 345 for 7 at the close.
Warwickshire skipper Jim Troughton capitalised on winning the toss by making a disciplined 76, allowing first William Porterfield then Rikki Clarke to dominate. Both pulled Graham Onions for two sixes, although the second of Porterfield's resulted from a top edge over the wicketkeeper.
Onions bowled only three overs with the second new ball before Brathwaite came on and took 3 for 11 in four overs. Porterfield was dropped on 1 and went on make 87, while Clarke departed for 49, made off 52 balls, when he pushed forward and edged Brathwaite to first slip.
Echoes of Tim Ambrose's struggles last season followed as he waved a crooked bat at the next ball, well wide of off stump, and edged to the wicketkeeper. Then, in the penultimate over, Troughton was surprised by extra bounce and gloved to the wicketkeeper to become Brathwaite's fourth victim of the innings.
The England-qualified West Indian had earlier persuaded Varun Chopra, fresh from two double hundreds, to chip a leg-stump half volley to mwicket. With Ant Botha suffering from a knee injury, Warwickshire handed a Championship debut to 20-year-old left-arm spinner Paul Best, while Durham were again without four-day skipper Phil Mustard.
His inflamed toe flared up after his return against Scotland on Sunday and it was his deputy, Michael Richardson, who dropped Porterfield off Callum Thorp. The batsman might also have gone on 25, when he edged Ben Stokes just wide of Gordon Muchall's left hand at first slip.
That was off the second ball of Stokes' second spell, his two overs before lunch having cost 22 runs. It got no better as the edged four re-opened the floodgates and in his next over Porterfield hit four successive fours. He reached 50 off 75 balls, compared with 108 for Troughton, who then slowed down even further in his determination to overcome old failings.
Durham used Onions sparingly in his encouraging comeback at Headingley then rested him in last week's defeat by Sussex. This time he had already bowled 17 overs when he came back to take the new ball. He twice beat Troughton on 57 but remained out of luck, the wicket of fellow Test player Mohammad Yousuf being his sole success.
Like Ian Westwood before him, Yousuf did not appear to like the decision by umpire John Steele when he was given out caught behind. There was a clear deflection, however, and he played away from his body.
Westwood dominated an opening stand of 71 with Chopra by making 46, while Porterfield and Troughton put on 131 for the fourth wicket before Scott Borthwick's googly turned just enough to have Porterfield lbw on the front foot.