KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Warks 561/6dec (Porterfield 162, Chopra 163, Evans 72; Kerrigan 3/93) MCC 130 all out (Denly 47; Wright 5/35) & 402 all out (Denly 146, Northeast 89, Trego 87 ; Clarke 4/33: Wright 3/75)
Warwickshire have beaten MCC by an innings and 29 runs in the Champion County match after wrapping up victory on the first session of the final day in Abu Dhabi.
Three wickets from Rikki Clarke were too much for MCC as they were bowled out for 402 on the final day.
The allrounder finished with figures of 4/33 as he removed overnight centurion Joe Denly (146), James Middlebrook and Steve Kirby before Chris Wright – who claimed eight wickets in the match - had Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan caught in the deep with MCC still needing 29 runs to make the Bears bat again.
Resuming on 308/4, MCC duo Denly and Peter Trego went about their business as they pushed on trying to whittle down the runs required to avoid an innings defeat.
Despite a five-wicket haul in the first innings Wright was overlooked to open the bowling, as Bears skipper Jim Troughton threw the pink ball to part-time spinner Varun Chopra. A decision which raised a few eyebrows.
However, after a two overs from Chopra normal service resumed with Wright and Oliver Hannon-Dalby bowling in tandem.
It was Trego who went first, edging one behind off Hannon-Dalby, to end a fine 121 fifth-wicket partnership and realistically any chance of a draw as Dale Benkenstein’s team still trailed by 80 runs.
The Somerset player hit a typically aggressive 87 from just 76 deliveries.
First-innings hero Wright then removed Leicestershire keeper and former MCC Young Cricketer Ned Eckerlsey as MCC lost their second wicket in as many overs, thanks to a brilliant catch at second slip from Clarke.
Following the first drinks break of the day, Middlebrook - who had joined Denly at 351/6 - was caught behind by the sub keeper as Clarke was fully into his stride now.
Troughton then began to offer Denly singles with a widespread field when joined by Lancashire’s Kerrigan.
The MCC centurion was happy to trust his teammate at the other end and took every single on offer as he inched towards 150.
However, Denly failed to reach that milestone as Clarke clean bowled the 27-year-old for 146, an innings that will surely impress the Middlesex Director of Cricket Angus Fraser ahead the start of the LV= County Championship.
Kirby holed out to Clarke to leave MCC at 398/9 and moments later the game was all over when Kerrigan was dismissed by Wright.
MCC will take some consolation from the fact that their second innings total of 402 was the highest by the club in this fixture when played in Abu Dhabi.
However, they will rue the fact that their first innings collapse meant that their strong performance with the bat second time around was not enough to force a result.