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Sidebottom takes advantage of slipshod Northants

Warwickshire 113 for 3 (Hain 51*) trail Northamptonshire 147 (Sidebottom 6-35) by 34 runs
Scorecard

Ryan Sidebottom took a career-best 6 for 35 as Warwickshire enjoyed a dominant first day at Wantage Road, bowling Northamptonshire out for just 147 before closing 113 for 3, trailing by 34.

Sidebottom, playing in just his ninth first-class game, tore through the Northants lower order after lunch to take a maiden five-wicket haul, providing the fire-power Warwickshire thought they had lost when Olly Stone went down injured in the warm-up.

Having fired Northants out so cheaply, Warwickshire briefly wobbled to 28 for 3 with Ian Bell held at second slip for a three-ball duck and Jonathan Trott lbw for 4 before Sam Hain and Will Rhodes compiled an unbeaten stand of 81 to ensure the visitors were well on top by the close. Hain passed fifty in the final over of the day in 103 balls with his fifth four.

It was Sidebottom who set up their position. His first wicket came with his opening delivery of the season, having not played last week, as Ben Duckett drove at a full ball slid across him and edged to gully where Rhodes claimed a sharp catch above his right shoulder. After lunch, a straight full delivery took out Richard Levi's middle stump after Levi had settled Northants getting to 41, and a sharp short ball at Adam Rossington's throat produced a simple catch to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose off the shoulder of the bat.

After Josh Cobb's brief counter-attack, Doug Bracewell slashed Sidebottom to Bell in the gully, Richard Gleeson was bowled for just 1 and and No. 11 Ben Sanderson was pinned lbw second ball to complete Sidebottom's haul.

Northants lost 7 for 46 after lunch in a third successive batting failure after totals of 71 and 142 in the opening round at Lord's. But unlike that fixture, where a soft green-top made batting perilous, here the toss was contested, both side wanted to bat, and Northants contributed to their own downfall with a slipshod display.

After Duckett fell driving loosely to his first delivery, Alex Wakely hooked Chris Wright to long leg and Rob Newton pulled Henry Brookes and gloved a catch to Ambrose to hand Brookes, one of three changes for Warwickshire from the side who drew with Sussex in the opening round, a first County Championship wicket.

Levi and Keogh saw Northants through to lunch with Levi producing the strokes of the morning with a sweet cover-drive off Sanderson and a slog-sweep against Jeetan Patel over long-on for six. But Keogh went to pull Patel after lunch, only for the delivery to skid under his bat into his off stump and Cobb, having hit Patel onto the balconies of the old and new pavilions, cut the off spinner to slip.

By contrast, Rhodes and Hain were careful to judge the slightly two-paced wicket and took no chances in nudging Warwickshire into three-figures shortly before the close. Hain's cover-drive off Gleeson was the pick of the strokes and as he held the pose, it confirmed Warwickshire's dominance of the day.