- MCC close day two on 73 for 7, 488 runs behind Warwickshire in Abu Dhabi
- Warwickshire declare first innings before tea on 561 for 6 (V.Chopra 163, W.T.S.Porterfield 162, L.J.Evans 72, J.O.Troughton* 54; C.Rushworth 3-93)
- Chris Wright (4-23) takes four MCC wickets in the final session
Warwickshire continued to dominate proceedings on day two of the annual Champion county match against MCC in Abu Dhabi, as Laurie Evans (72) and captain Jim Troughton (54) struck half centuries, to help their side declare just before tea on 561 for 6. In reply, Chris Wright bowled a devastating new ball spell to claim four wickets, as MCC closed still 488 runs adrift with just three first innings wickets in hand.
Conditions at the Zayed Cricket Stadium were unusually dark and overcast throughout the second day, as the floodlights were switched on just fifteen minutes after play started at 14.30. Once the action did get underway the Warwickshire overnight pairing of Evans and Troughton continued the county’s batting charge, adding 111 for the fourth wicket before Troughton was dismissed just before lunch, edging Simon Kerrigan behind to wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley for 54. It was however a case of second time lucky for the Leicestershire wicket-keeper, who had already dropped Troughton when he was on just 19 off the bowling of Peter Trego earlier in the session.
A heavy rain shower prompted umpires Trevor Jesty and Peter Willey to call the players off a few minutes prior to the scheduled lunch break, and upon returning to the field for the second session Evans added just fourteen more runs before he was dismissed, attempting to pull a short ball from Chris Rushworth, and top edging it to Dawid Malan at mid-wicket for 72.
Tim Ambrose struck a quick-fire 31 from just 35 balls in the middle-order, before he became Rushworth’s second victim of the day, caught by Kerrigan on the mid-wicket boundary. Rushworth was the stand out bowler for MCC during the first innings, returning figures of 3-93 from 28 overs including five maidens.
A flurry of boundaries from Warwickshire’s numbers seven and eight, Rikki Clarke (24 not out) and Ateeq Javid (25 not out), enabled captain Troughton to declare on a mammoth 561 for 6, and set MCC openers Sam Northeast and Jimmy Adams a testing 30 minute period to bat before tea.
Warwickshire’s probing new ball pairing of Chris Wright and Oliver Hannon-Dalby both looked dangerous early on, however, it took a crisp straight drive from Adams and a deflection onto the stumps at the non-strikers end by Wright, to force the first wicket, Northeast unfortunately run-out for 7 in the penultimate over before the break.
The final session of the day saw Warwickshire continue to dominate, as just 59 runs were added and six wickets were taken, along with Joe Denly retiring hurt on 19 due to a migraine. Wright bowled a superb hostile spell to first dismiss MCC captain Dale Benkenstein, clean bowled by a full away swinger for an eleven ball duck, before trapping Dawid Malan LBW in the same over to reduce MCC to 47 for 3. This soon became 49 for 4 and then 50 for 5, as Peter Trego was third MCC batsman to be dismissed by Wright for nought, edging to William Porterfield in the slips, before Wright also dislodged Adams, caught by Varun Chopra at second slip.
At the other end, first change bowler Rikki Clark maintained the mounting pressure, and was eventually awarded with the wicket of Ned Eckersley, who was caught by Ian Westwood at deep backward square for 6. Hannon-Dalby returned to the attack to dismiss Simon Kerrigan LBW for 1, which left James Middlebrook (11 not out) and Steve Kirby (5 not out) to see the day out for MCC, closing on 73 for 7.
Speaking at the close of play, Chris Wright said:
“Given that we got over 550 on the board, we were expecting it to play a bit flatter during the MCC innings, but we managed to get it to do a little bit, which is very encouraging.
“I’m not sure there is an issue batting in the twilight period as such – we batted through it yesterday and it didn’t really do much – and we didn’t actually take a wicket until the lights came into full force tonight, so I think this issue with the twilight period is a bit of a myth.
“We are now hoping to wrap this innings up without the seamers doing too much more work early on, and I expect we will then enforce the follow-on if we can. The plan is to then make early inroads with the new ball and let the spinners finish the job.”
- Ends -
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