sport

Woakes shines for Warwickshire

Chris Woakes bowled Warwickshire back into their LV= County Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston with a season's-best five for 35.

The England seamer followed up his crucial 91 in Warwickshire's first innings by undermining Nottinghamshire's top order then returning to mop up the tail.

Nottinghamshire were dismissed for 225 in their second innings, with Phil Jaques holding things together with 79 in his final innings of the season, which left Warwickshire to chase 289 in just under four sessions.

They had reached 61 for two in 22 overs before the close with Jonathan Trott ending the day unbeaten on 19 from 40 balls.

Woakes, who was left out of England's side for both of the recent Tests against Sri Lanka, atoned for a loose display with the ball on the first day by bowling openers Luke Fletcher and Steven Mullaney early on.

Fletcher, who had been sent in as nightwatchman, was beaten by a full length ball as he played back and Mullaney played on.

Jaques, who is returning to Australia to coach the Sutherland District club in Sydney, passed 50 for the eighth time in a productive 11-match stint with Nottinghamshire and added 84 in 26 overs with Alex Hales.

But Woakes returned at the City End after lunch and broke the partnership when he bowled Hales' off stump with one that kept low.

Chris Wright then yorked James Taylor and Boyd Rankin made the major breakthrough when Jaques got a thick inside edge aiming to drive him through the off side.

Jaques, who will return to Nottinghamshire on another short-term contract next year, completed his first stint with the county with 894 championship runs at an average of 49.66 in 20 innings.

His departure opened the door for off-spinner Jeetan Patel who got bounce and turn out of the footmarks created by left-arm seamer Keith Barker.

Riki Wessels fell to a bat-pad catch by Sam Hain at short leg from Patel's fifth ball and Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read chopped on when he stepped back to cut.

Nottinghamshire's collapse accelerated when Peter Siddle gave Patel the charge in the first over after tea and was smartly stumped by Tim Ambrose.

Woakes returned at the Pavilion End and immediately had Samit Patel taken at mid on and claimed the 15th five-wicket haul of his career when Andre Adams holed out to Hain at deep extra cover.

When Warwickshire started their reply, they soon lost Varun Chopra to a top-edged pull off Siddle which Fletcher caught at mid-on which brought Trott to the crease with a potentially tricky final hour to bat.

Siddle steamed in with two short-pitched balls, one of which passed his left shoulder and raced away for four byes but Trott got off the mark with a single into the covers off the Australian and struck his first boundary with a trademark on-driven four off Adams.

Trott followed up with three leg side fours off Adams but Warwickshire lost William Porterfield, lbw working Harry Gurney to leg, just before the close.

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell feels his side have thrown several chances to take a stranglehold on the game and believes the clash could now go either way on the final day.

"Over the first two days we have wasted two chances to kill the game off. We should have got 470-odd and we could have had a much bigger lead," he said.

"So we have given Warwickshire two ways back in and now the game is evenly poised."

Warwickshire bowling coach Alan Richardson takes a similar view of the current match situation, saying: "It's well-balanced now isn't it? You wouldn't have th ought that at the end of the first day.

"We have shown a lot of guts and a lot of character to get back into the game. It's going to be hard work for both sides.

"The guys have said when you bowl straight it's difficult to score and also if you want to bat for lengths of time you can do that. It's going to be a case for both sides tomorrow to be as patient as possible and hopefully we will be the more patient."