Notts fold on bowlers' day
Warwickshire 139 for 6 trail Nottinghamshire 155 (Wright 4-28) by 16 runs
Newly crowned champions Warwickshire bowled out Nottinghamshire for 155 before their own batsmen also endured a difficult day. A week after playing a key role in the win that secured the Championship title, seamer Chris Wright claimed 4 for 28 as the weakened hosts, missing four first-choice batsmen for the final game of the season, were dismissed in just 49.4 overs.
Only Paul Franks offered any resistance of note in making 44 before he became Wright's third victim. But Notts hit back with Andy Carter taking three wickets in 10 balls to leave Warwickshire on 139 for 6 at the close, still 16 behind.
Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton chose to bowl first after winning the toss, with the Notts batting line-up missing Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel thanks to England Twenty20 call-ups, while overseas batsman Adam Voges had also returned home to Australia for a state training camp.
The decision paid off with the third ball of the day as Chris Woakes bowled England Under-19 international Sam Kelsall, with the diminutive right-hander playing on for a duck on his home debut. The more experienced pair of Neil Edwards and Riki Wessels were lbw in successive overs to leave Notts 18 for 4, and Steven Mullaney was then caught at first slip off Keith Barker.
Captain Chris Read, so often the Notts man for a crisis, was bowled by Wright, with James Taylor lbw to Rikki Clarke and Graeme White offering a simple chance to Clarke at slip off Jeetan Patel. That left Notts to chew over a miserable lunch at 92 for 7, though Franks and Ben Phillips then put on 38 for the eighth wicket before veteran Phillips was caught behind off Wright for 13.
Franks then chopped a cut shot onto his stumps and tailender Carter fended a throat ball from Wright to short leg. The batting performance was indicative of a team who have completely run out of steam in the last month of the season, although the bowlers showed some determination to keep Notts in the game.
Phillips had Ian Westwood plumb lbw in the fifth over and then accounted for Varun Chopra, another batsman to drag the ball onto his stumps. Troughton was caught behind after tea before Carter's second spell and left the champions reeling.
Darren Maddy chose to leave a straight delivery that removed his off-stump for 41, while Richard Johnson played on in the next over and Chris Woakes drove at a wide delivery to be caught behind. Clarke (21 not out) and Ian Blackwell (28 not out) steadied the ship with an unbroken 49 and Warwickshire will be confident that a lead in excess of 50 could be enough to end the season in style.