Barker five begins Bears revenge act
Warwickshire 77 for 1 trail Durham 201 (Pringle 63*, Barker 5-59) by 124 runs
Keith Barker maintained his stranglehold on Durham as Warwickshire got over their Royal London One-Day Cup final hangover by dismissing their Lord's conquerors for 201 in the Championship at Edgbaston.
Less than 72 hours after winning the domestic 50-over competition, Durham were the team with all the headaches after losing three wickets, all falling in the space of seven balls from Barker during the opening half-hour. With Barker taking 5 for 59, giving him 37 wickets in eight meetings between the counties, Durham lurched to 78 for 6 in the third over after lunch but salvaged a solitary batting point thanks to an impressive maiden half-century by Ryan Pringle.
For Warwickshire, the maximum return by their bowlers chopped three points from the 10 they need to be sure of taking the £225,000 prize money on offer to the Division One runners-up. Varun Chopra pushed home their advantage in a final session twice curtailed by bad light. In his first championship match since being confirmed as county captain, he was unbeaten with 44 as the hosts closed at 77 for 1, 124 behind. Chopra hit four consecutive fours off Chris Rushworth to complete a half-century stand with Ian Westwood, who was caught behind off Varun Aaron for 30.
On a bright but hazy morning, Chopra lost the toss but his team seized the initiative through a mixture of seam, swing and Durham's hang-up with Barker. The left-armer has taken more than twice as many wickets against Durham as any other county. Of his nine career five-wicket returns, four have come against the north-east side, and one of his three first-class centuries was also at their expense. Lucky for them, perhaps, that he did not play in the 50-over final at the weekend, having missed the group stages through injury.
Kept fresh for the Championship run-in, Barker was straight at the Durham batsmen, gaining just enough swing to make him a tricky proposition in the late-season conditions. Mark Stoneman was lbw in his third over and both Scott Borthwick and Gordon Muchall nibbled catches into the slips, all departing for single figure scores.
Keaton Jennings ended his run of three consecutive ducks, but on 10, he pushed outside off stump at a ball from Oliver Hannon-Dalby and edged the Yorkshire-born seam bowler to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose. Paul Collingwood never got going, quickly falling to a slip catch for Rikki Clarke, but Michael Richardson batted well through the crisis and hit seven fours in making 42 before he was snapped up behind the wicket for Barker's fifth dismissal.
Durham's resistance grew with a stubborn knock by Lord's matchwinner Gareth Breese after his unexpected call-up for a final Championship appearance for the county. Digging in for two-and-a-quarter hours, he made 26 before Boyd Rankin found some sharp bounce and had the allrounder taken by Clarke via a deflection from Ambrose. By then Pringle, in only his second Championship match, was shaping up with increasing confidence, punishing the bad ball for 10 boundaries in all, and with support down the order, the Sunderland-born prospect stayed to the end for an unbeaten 63 from 98 balls. The last three wickets added 80 before Clarke, Rankin and Jeetan Patel ended Warwickshire's shift in the field on the stroke of tea.
As Warwickshire move purposefully towards a top two position in all three formats this season, bowling coach Alan Richardson believes their success is down to hard work. "It has kind of reaffirmed my belief that hard work is what it is all about," he said. "We are lucky at Warwickshire that we have some great players and even luckier that we have a group of players who are prepared to put in the hard yards."