Joe Denly’s 146 not enough to save MCC from defeat on the final day of the Champion County match in Abu Dhabi
Rikki Clarke takes 4-33 to help Warwickshire secure victory before lunch by an innings and 29 runs
Four wickets in the second innings from seamer Rikki Clarke helped Warwickshire to secure a comprehensive victory against MCC by an innings and 29 runs in the 2013 Champion County match in Abu Dhabi.
Resuming the day on 308 for 4, MCC’s overnight pairing of Joe Denly and Peter Trego added 42 runs during the first 8.5 overs before Trego was the first man out on the final day, edging Oliver Hannon-Dalby through to Varun Chopra at first slip for an attacking 87 from just 76 balls. New batsman Ned Eckersley followed three balls later, caught at third slip by Clarke off the bowling of Chris Wright, to reduce MCC to 351 for 6, still 80 runs behind Warwickshire’s first innings score.
At the other end, Denly remained immovable for the majority of the session, combining with James Middlebrook to take the score to 377 when Middlebrook was dismissed for 17 by Clarke, caught by wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose. With just three wickets remaining, and still 54 runs behind, Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton astutely marshalled his fielders in a bid to keep the new batsman, Simon Kerrigan, on strike, as Denly was forced to approach his 150 in singles.
However, it was Denly as opposed to Kerrigan who was the next man to fall, bowled by Clarke for a superb 146. After that it was just a matter of time before Warwickshire cleaned up the tail, as Steve Kirby became Clarke’s fourth victim for 4, Kerrigan fell to Wright (who took match figures of 8-110) for 10, and Chris Rushworth remained unbeaten on 4 as MCC were bowled out for 402.
Speaking at the conclusion of the match, MCC Head of Cricket and Manager of the MCC Champion County team, John Stephenson, said:
“To be bowled out for 130 in the first innings meant that we were always going to be up against it. Credit to Warwickshire, they bowled fantastically well, especially under the floodlight conditions on day two.
“The way the MCC guys played in the second innings showed what good players they are. On paper this team is extremely strong, but after losing the toss and being asked to field first on a pitch like that, was always going to be a bit of a struggle.
“With respect to the day-night format, the match went really well on the whole. All the pink balls stood up fantastically well, they were very durable, had good visibility throughout, and there were no complaints from any of the players. I’m really pleased with how things went from that perspective – I just wish we could have got a few more runs in our first innings.”
MCC’s second innings total of 402 is the Club’s highest ever total in the four Champion County matches that have been played in Abu Dhabi, beating the previous best of 357, set by Chris Rogers’ MCC team in the second innings against Nottinghamshire in 2011.
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