Ultra cautious Warwickshire make Nottinghamshire grind it out in the field

Luke Fletcher took a wicket on a tough day in the field for  Nottinghamshire. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Luke Fletcher took a wicket on a tough day in the field for Nottinghamshire. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Warwickshire spent the first day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Nottinghamshire very much in the slow lane on a day for the purists among the spectators at Edgbaston.

With the cricket gripped by World Cup fever, and while England and Pakistan peppered the boundaries at Trent Bridge, back in the red-ball world Warwickshire scored 181 for three from 93 overs.

In a tussle between Division One’s bottom two teams, not losing is a high priority and the home side, having chosen to bat, deployed enormous caution, most of all in an afternoon session which brought 39 runs in 35 overs.

Dominic Sibley batted throughout the day in search of his seventh century in nine first-class matches. The former Surrey opener ended it just 19 short, unbeaten on 81 from 264 balls with six fours.

Only 15 boundaries were hit all day as Nottinghamshire bowled with admirable persistence and discipline on a slow pitch. Despite having taken just three wickets, they reined in the scoring so tightly that early wickets on the second morning would put them in a strong position.

Warwickshire started brightly enough as openers Sibley and Will Rhodes added 33 in 57 balls before the latter cut Luke Fletcher to second slip where Matt Carter took a sharp catch in front of his face.

Nineteen-year-old Rob Yates was greeted by an aggressive spell from Stuart Broad but survived to help Sibley add 49 from 25 overs. Yates reached a career-best 24 (83 balls, two fours) before Broad knocked out his off-stump just after lunch, at which point the session disappeared into inertia.

While Sibley played his customary anchor role, Hain dropped an even deeper anchor at the other end, acquiring just a single from his first 55 balls. Sibley reached his half-century in just over four hours, from 185 balls with three fours, just before tea.

The two anchors added 57 in 39 overs before Nottinghamshire were handed a bonus breakthrough by a running mix-up. Hain, having chiselled 23 runs from two hours 24 minutes, tucked Carter to mid on, set off for a single in which his partner showed no interest and was yards short of regaining his ground when Chris Nash’s throw arrived.

Adam Hose then arrived with a shiny new anchor and he and Sibley added an unbroken 42 in 20 overs, importantly seeing off the new ball, up to stumps.

Warwickshire are unchanged from the team that beat Surrey last week while Nottinghamshire have recalled Samit Patel and James Pattinson for Jake Libby and Jake Ball.