Barker piles on runs for Warwickshire
Sussex 103 for 3 v Warwickshire 521
Keith Barker hit a career-best 118 as Warwickshire piled up 521 against Sussex on day two of their County Championship clash at Edgbaston. The former Blackburn Rovers trainee completed his second successive first-class hundred on the ground - eight weeks after making 101 against Durham in his previous innings here - and featured in two milestones for this fixture.
Warwickshire's total is their highest in home matches with Sussex, surpassing 517 for 9 at Leamington Spa in 1910, while Barker's partnership of 155 with Jeetan Patel set a new ninth-wicket record in meetings with the south coast county.
Chris Woakes helped set up the run spree with an attractive half-century and the England seam bowler tightened Warwickshire's grip by dismissing Ed Joyce and Luke Wells as the visitors closed on 103 for 3 in reply. Chris Nash provided some welcome respite for Sussex with 52 until he was bowled by Patel's third delivery, but they are still 418 behind, needing a further 269 to avoid the follow-on.
The mauling may not have come as a surprise to a Sussex team who have been enveloped by a Birmingham jinx after registering only one championship victory at Edgbaston in 50 years. Michael Yardy was not helped by Amjad Khan's absence from the match because of a heel injury, which effectively left the captain with a front-line attack of three bowlers who shared three-quarters of the workload.
James Anyon emerged from the turmoil with a fifth wicket for 136, when Barker was last out angling a catch to Yardy at slip, and Monty Panesar shouldered the heaviest burden with 49 overs, although he did not add to his three wickets on the opening day.
The game was still finely balanced when Warwickshire, having benefited from a number of dropped chances, resumed on 261 for 6 after an hour's delay because of rain. The overnight partnership of Woakes and Tim Ambrose reached 127 before the former went for 74, cutting a ball from Anyon to Will Adkin at point.
But Ambrose carried on until the afternoon before he was run out by a deflection from the bowler, Olly Rayner. While Woakes went for his shots in another innings confirming his allrounder status, Ambrose wore Sussex down, content with seven boundaries in more than four hours as he batted through 73 overs for 73.
Barker's innings was altogether different, a whirlwind of strokes with a six and 17 fours from 137 balls, and Patel was no less effective as he drove Panesar and Rayner for sixes before he was caught and bowled by Nash for 65.