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May 31, 2010
Warwickshire 100 and 229 for 4 trail Durham 379 by 50 runs
A century partnership between Ian Westwood and Rikki Clarke restored Warwickshire's resolve at Edgbaston after they had registered their lowest total in 11 years. Dismissed for 100 by Durham, they were in danger of a rapid slide to a third successive defeat in the County Championship when forced to follow on 279 behind.
Deep in trouble at 62 for 3 when legspinner Scott Borthwick took two wickets in his first seven balls, they managed to halt Durham's charge by reaching 229 for 4 at the end of the third day. The fourth-wicket stand of 114 helped to trim the deficit to 50 and, although Durham are still favourites to chalk up a third win in defence of last season's title, Westwood and Clarke gave their team a much-needed shot of confidence.
The durable Westwood was ideally suited to the captain's role, batting through 72 overs for an unbeaten 86 and Clarke found some form for his first half-century of the season. He hit a dozen fours before he was lbw to Ian Blackwell for 66.
The morning session had been a nightmare for Warwickshire. With nine wickets falling for just 82 runs, it became their least productive batting performance since they collapsed for 86 against Essex at Chelmsford in April 1999.
The absence of England duo Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott was only a partial excuse for their failure to reach 150 in the first innings for the third match in succession. The pitch was neither spiteful nor an absolute turner and there was only a hint of swing to assist a Durham attack missing four front-line seamers in Steve Harmison, Graham Onions, Mark Davies and Callum Thorp.
It was an indictment of the top order that Andrew Miller, the nightwatchman, was the highest scorer with 35 from 81 balls. The former Lancashire paceman came into this match with a career record of 19 runs from 10 first-class innings and yet he was able to outshine everyone in terms of application and good sense.
Having defended quite comfortably for 90 minutes, he only lost his wicket in a sudden rush of blood. Not content with a six and four from successive balls, he was bowled by Blackwell when lining up another big hit.
New-ball pair Mitchell Claydon and Chris Rushworth shared Warwickshire's first five wickets. With Darren Maddy dismissed overnight, Claydon had figures of 3 for 5 when late movement accounted for left-handers Westwood and Jim Troughton.
When Durham switched to Blackwell's spin, the allrounder had Richard Johnson caught at slip from his second delivery and, at the other end, Liam Plunkett cleaned up the tail with 3 for 16.
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