Varun Chopra and William Porterfield struck the first two centuries of the 2013 English season, as Warwickshire controlled proceedings against MCC on day one of the Champion County match in Abu Dhabi.
After losing the toss and finding themselves in the field, a wicket in the second over provided the perfect start for Dale Benkenstein’s MCC side. The Somerset pairing of Steve Kirby and Peter Trego bowled well with the new pink ball, Trego dismissing Ian Westwood with his fourth ball of the match, but this probing start was emphatically erased by a superb 308 run partnership between Chopra and Porterfield, as Warwickshire recovered from 0-1 to reach 370-3 at the close of play.
The second session yielded an impressive 146 runs for the County Champions, as both Chopra and Porterfield moved through the gears, combining resolute defence with skilful negotiation of the twilight period, to bring up their respective hundreds in 165 and 162 balls.
MCC’s bowlers continued to work hard under the floodlights during the final session of the day, and Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan was eventually awarded with the wicket of Chopra, caught by Kirby at mid-off for an excellent 163.
Laurie Evans joined Porterfield at the crease and the pair put on 42 for the third wicket, before Porterfield was eventually dislodged on 162, Kerrigan taking his second catch of the day off the bowling of Durham seamer Chris Rushworth. It was left to Warwickshire captain, Jim Troughton, to see out the last few overs alongside Evans, as play finished with the score on 370-3, Evans unbeaten on 15 and Troughton on 8.
Speaking at the close of play, Warwickshire opening batsman, Varun Chopra, said:
“It was a great start to the season for me, the wicket was good, and we made the most of winning the toss on a decent deck. Playing under the floodlights and with the pink ball was fine. Having two set batsmen definitely helped, especially during the twilight period, which can be a challenge, but I really enjoyed it out there today.”
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Notes to editors:
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