Ian Bell completed two unbeaten centuries in a match as Warwickshire cemented their place at the top of Specsavers County Championship Division Two with a four-wicket win over Glamorgan at Edgbaston.
Bell followed his first innings 106 not out with an unbeaten 115 (164 balls, 17 fours) to takes his side to their target of 294 with 20 overs to spare.
It was the second time he has scored two hundreds in a match and the first at Edgbaston. He previously achieved the feat against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 2004.
Bell was well-supported by Jonathan Trott (67, 107 balls, six fours) and Will Rhodes (61, 120 balls, eight fours) as Glamorgan ended up comfortably beaten in a match in which they competed hard and which was finely-poised for three days.
Only on the final day when the pitch flattened out, did the Welsh county’s challenge fade to leave them nursing a third successive championship defeat.
For Warwickshire, it was a fourth successive victory which sends them in confident mood towards next week’s mouth-watering clash with nearest pursuers Kent at Tunbridge Wells.
Warwickshire resumed on the final morning on 25 without loss and Rhodes and Dominic Sibley took their opening stand to 68 in 27 overs before the latter (19, 88 balls, two fours) chipped spinner Andrew Salter to mid-wicket.
Rhodes, having begun his innings by avoiding a king pair, reached 50 from 89 balls while Bell settled immediately. His first-innings century, constructed with care while wickets tumbled around him, was a slow-burner but second time round he batted more fluently from the off. He went into lunch having already hit seven fours on his way to 36 from 53 balls.
Warwickshire were 119 for one at lunch and lost Rhodes before adding another run when the opener edged an excellent ball from Salter to wicketkeeper Chris Cooke. But if that gave the visitors a glimmer of hope, it was soon snuffed out by Bell and Trott.
Bell reached his half-century in 69 balls and Trott followed to his in 82 as they eased the score forward under little time pressure.
Trott passed 18,000 first-class runs just before falling lbw to David Lloyd having scored 67 of a stand of 113 in 30 overs. Lloyd then bowled Hain for a second-ball duck but Tim Ambrose (21, 33 balls, three fours) joined Bell in an partnership of 54 in 12 overs.
Salter returned to trap Ambrose lbw and lure Keith Barker into a fatal top-edged sweep but there was no shifting Bell who won the match with his 29th boundary of it.
Usman Khawaja’s debut century for Glamorgan against Warwickshire has set up a fascinating final day in their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.
Khawaja’s classy 125 (143 balls, 16 fours, one six) – his 23rd first-class century – lifted Glamorgan to 323 all out, setting the home side a victory target of 294.
Warwickshire closed the third day on 25 without loss – leaving both teams with everything to play for on the last day.
The home side have their sights set on a fourth successive championship win to reinforce their place at the top of Division Two while Glamorgan are scenting their first championship victory over Warwickshire since 1993.
This excellent match has ebbed and flowed throughout. On the third afternoon, Australian Test batsman Khawaja, on his first appearance for the Welsh county, and Chris Cooke, in his first as captain, added 115 to tilt the match their team’s way before Warwickshire hit back to take the last five wicket for 39 runs.
Glamorgan resumed on the third morning on 55 without loss and soon lost Nick Selman (42, 69 balls, six fours), who chipped Keith Barker to mid-wicket, and Connor Brown, who edged Chris Wright behind.
Jack Murphy dug in deep for 25 (80 balls, four fours) before he was yorked by Henry Brookes and the young seamer also ended the stubborn resistance of Owen Morgan (nine from 46 balls) when he won an lbw decision.
On a pitch offering the spinners less, rather than more, assistance as the match lengthens, Khawaja and Cooke applied themselves skilfully to add 115 in 28 overs. Uprooted before he could settle in the first innings, second time round Khawaja batted fluently for 205 minutes. He lifted Jeetan Patel for a straight six before falling lbw, trapped on the back foot, to the spinner.
Warwickshire struck twice with a new ball straight after tea when Cooke (59, 140 balls, seven fours) edged Brookes to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose and David Lloyd fell lbw to Barker. Ruaidhri Smith clubbed four useful fours then edged Wright to Dominic Sibley at second slip.
Andrew Salter became the ninth Glamorgan wicket in the match to fall lbw when he missed a straight one from Patel before Lukas Carey edged Wright to Sibley.
That left Warwickshire with 13 overs to bat in the day and Will Rhodes and Sibley came through unscathed to lay a sound platform for the final-day chase.
Ian Bell’s first Specsavers County Championship century since April 2016 earned Warwickshire a narrow first-innings lead over Glamorgan on a gripping and hard-fought second day at Edgbaston.
In reply to 220, the Division Two leaders were bowled out for 250 with Bell left unbeaten on 106 (248 balls, 12 fours).
His 53rd first-class century (and first against Glamorgan – he now just needs Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Yorkshire to complete the set), Bell’s innings was a work of substantial concentration.
He took more than three hours to reach 50 and then, perhaps fuelled by determination to make up for a bad call which ran out Jonathan Trott (57, 88 balls, nine fours), advanced to his ton in five minutes short of six minutes.
Glamorgan pared away effectively at his partners, though. Led by Timm van der Gugten (four for 65) and Lukas Carey (three for 56), they bowled collectively well to maintain pressure on the batsmen. Then then reached the closed on 55 without loss in their second innings to leave the game finely-poised.
After Warwickshire resumed in the morning on 24 for two, Bell and Trott extended their alliance to 81 but then hit the self-destruct button. Bell played spinner Andrew Salter to mid-wicket, there was a yes, no, yes and the helpless Trott, having batted with great fluency, was beaten by David Lloyd’s throw.
Salter’s return catch removed Sam Hain just before lunch before Glamorgan hit hard in mid-afternoon with a burst of three wickets for nine runs in five overs. Carey struck twice in an over as Tim Ambrose was brilliantly held by Nick Selman at second slip and Keith Barker was bowled by one that kept low. When Jeetan Patel sent a return catch back to Salter, it was 174 for seven.
Chris Wright (29, 89 balls, two fours) offered Bell resolute support in an eighth-wicket stand of 69 in 25 overs but, just as Warwickshire were eyeing up a match-shaping lead, Van der Gugten returned to take the last three wickets in six balls. Fast, straight deliveries did for Wright and Henry Brookes, lbw, and Josh Poysden sliced his first ball to gully.
Glamorgan openers Selman and Jack Murphy then batted carefully and competently through 18 overs to remain unparted and leave their side eyeing up a serious tilt at their second championship win of the season with Warwickshire set to bat last on a turning pitch.
A career-best five for 29 from Warwickshire leg-spinner Josh Poysden continued Glamorgan’s batting struggles on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.
The Welsh county chose to bat, aiming to at least double their haul of just three batting points collected from the first four games.
But they added just one more as, on a slow pitch, they were bowled out for 220 after Poysden, playing his first championship game of the season, dismantled the lower order.
Australia Test star Usman Khawaja made just four on his debut and, though David Lloyd made 39 (69 balls, six fours), Owen Morgan 36 (125, five) and Chris Cooke 34 (53, six), no-one built the big innings required.
The total looks well under par, though Glamorgan fought back well in the last session, removing both Warwickshire openers to leave the home side on 24 for two at the close.
After Chris Cooke, captaining Glamorgan for the first time, won the toss, young openers Nick Selman and Jack Murphy added 44 in 14 overs. They were parted by Henry Brookes when Murphy was adjudged lbw by Indian umpire Yeshwant Barde, officiating in the first match of his exchange trip.
Connor Brown then edged Chris Wright behind and Selman (30, 74 balls, four fours) bat-padded Jeetan Patel to short leg.
Khawaja’s uncomfortable, 47-minute stay was ended by a Keith Barker inswinger and Barker should have immediately also dismissed Cooke, who was dropped on nought by Dominic Sibley at second slip. The captain survived to add 57 in 15 overs with Morgan before misreading Poysden’s first ball and falling lbw.
Poysden struck again in each of his first two overs after tea when Morgan was lbw and Andrew Salter clipped to short mid-wicket.
Lloyd, having batted forcefully to pass 2,000 first-class runs in his 50th match, then departed deeply unimpressed with the decision that he had edged a ball from Patel on to pad before Tim Ambrose reached forward to catch it.
Ruaidhri Smith became the fifth lbw casualty when he missed a sweep at Poysden who bowled Lukas Carey first ball to complete his five-for.
Glamorgan hit back hard when the home side replied as Carey rattled Will Rhodes’ stumps with the first ball of the innings and Timm Van der Gugten castled Sibley with the 56th.
Both sides are depleted in the seam-bowling department with Warwickshire’s Olly Stone and Ryan Sidebottom ruled out by side-strains and Glamorgan missing captain Michael Hogan and Marchant de Lange due to hamstring injuries.
Warwickshire v Glamorgan
Warwickshire return to red ball action as they host Glamorgan at Edgbaston on Saturday 9th June.
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