Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire, Trent Bridge, 4th day

Barker battles Bears to draw

September 14, 2012

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Warwickshire 204 (Carter 4-55) and 290 and 8 (Woakes 80) drew with Nottinghamshire 155 (Wright 4-28) and 444 for 8 (Mullaney 94, Patel 4-127)
Scorecard


Keith Barker struck four fours and a six in his 33, Sussex v Warwickshire, County Championship, Division One, Hove, 2nd day, April 26, 2012
Keith Barker's counterattacking 44 helped Warwickshire survive to a draw © Getty Images
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Chris Woakes' defiant 80 ensured Warwickshire warmed up for their bid to complete a double by holding off a late Nottinghamshire charge and claiming a draw in the final match of their campaign.

The Bears - already confirmed as Division One champions going into their final match at Trent Bridge - take on Hampshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord's and were at times struggling to avoid going into that clash on the back of a defeat as Paul Franks with 4for 47 and Luke Fletcher, 3 for 58 starred.

But Woakes held their second innings together after an early slump to 32 for 3, as they were set an unlikely 421 to win from 90 overs, putting on 57 with Ian Westwood, who made 46 and then 89 with Ian Blackwell, 44 as the visitors recovered to 224 for 5.

Franks' three wickets in eight balls threw the game back up in the air before Keith Barker' 44 not out and Chris Wright with an unbeaten 19 batted out the final 12.5 overs to deny the hosts a win that would have lifted them up to third in the Division One table.

With a 395-run overnight lead, Notts strangely chose to bat on for four overs, during which they added 25 runs but declared on 469 for 8 before Franks, who finished 86 not out and Fletcher, on 42, had had the opportunity to reach their respective milestones.

Fletcher quickly hit his straps with ball in hand as Varun Chopra nicked behind to Chris Read. The same combination then worked to good effect twice more as Darren Maddy was undone by extra bounce and left-hander Jim Troughton fended at one angled across him.

Rikki Clarke began the Warwickshire fightback as he and Westwood shared a partnership of 46 until his leg stump was removed by Paul Franks soon after lunch, while Westwood's resistance was eventually ended by spinner Graeme White, who induced a catch at slip.

However, Woakes, who smashed two sixes into the new stand off White to reach fifty and hit 12 fours in his 139-ball knock, found another able partner in Blackwell either side of tea.

At that point, there appeared little likelihood of a result until Franks first had Blackwell, who had struck three fours and two sixes from 85 balls, brilliantly caught at slip by Mullaney and then pinned Richard Johnson lbw next ball. When Woakes was caught at short cover, also off Franks, the tension grew but Notts could not ram home their advantage, even with the use of the new ball for the final 10 overs.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 14, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

What looked like a dead final session turned into a real cliff-hanger. It just shows that a tight draw can be more compelling than a win. According to the commentary, the crowd was actually growing after Tea rather than people drifting home! A great effort by Notts to get so close to the win that would have capped a fine season. Of course, the sub-text is that Middlesex who, with two games to go were looking anxiously over their shoulder at the relegation battle, finish 3rd in their debut season and owe a debt of thanks to Warks for fighting to the last ball when, unlike Notts, they had nothing riding on the result.

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