A second century in the match by Ian Bell (115*) who shared a stand of 113 in 30 overs with Jonathan Trott (67) helped Warwickshire secure a four-wicket victory on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan at Edgbaston, with their success further consolidating their position at the top of the Division Two table.
Warwickshire needed a further 72 runs, and Glamorgan eight wickets when play resumed after tea, and the target was soon reduced as Ian Bell pulled Lukas Carey for four, and Trott did the same to David Lloyd for three. But two balls Later Lloyd trapped Trott l.b.w. with a ball that jagged back in before bowling Sam Hain with a ball which kept low as Warwickshire slipped to 232/4.
Tim Ambrose became Ian Bell’s new partner as the former England batsman unfurled yet another pair of high class cover drives against Lloyd. With 36 runs still needed, Glamorgan took the new ball, but Bell remained unperturbed and completed his century from 160 balls by clipping Craey to the ropes at square-leg to also become the first-ever Warwickshire batsman to score a century in each innings of a Championship match against the Welsh county.
He also became the first batsman to score a century in each innings against Glamorgan in a Championship match since 2014 when Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell posted 109 and 151* at Cardiff in 2014, and it was the second time in his distinguished career that he had achieved the feat having struck a pair of centuries against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 2004.
He added two further boundaries in the over through point and fine leg before Ambrose then drove Carey for four before dispatching Lloyd through point and extra cover for further boundaries as the task dropped into single figures. Salter then returned at the Pavilion End and removed Tim Ambrose l.b.w with his first delivery before Keith Barker had an ungainly swish at his second ball and skied a catch to Nick Selman at slip. But Jeetan Patel straight drove the off-spinner for four before Ian Bell, appropriately ended the match by thick edging Owen Morgan for four to end unbeaten on 115.
Warwickshire needed a further 175 runs, and Glamorgan nine wickets when play began after lunch with Andrew Salter resuming at the Pavilion End. The off-spinner made an immediate breakthrough as with his second delivery he had Will Rhodes smartly caught behind by Chris Cooke. Jonathan Trott joined Ian Bell and began with a thick edge to third man against Salter as well as a miscued drive in the direction of cover against Lukas Carey. He then played a more assured stroke off the back foot for through the covers against Salter before Bell did the same off the front foot later in the over.
Trott then drilled Carey through mid-off for four before swatting him through point for another boundary. Bell then pulled Salter for one before completing his second high-class fifty of the match from 69 balls. Trott then greeted the return of Timm van der Gugten by carving him through point, before Bell cut him just over the head of Salter in the gully.
Owen Morgan then had a brief spell at the Pavilion End and got a ball to keep low to Trott which the former England batsman just dug out. Salter duly returned and also got a ball to torpedo into the boots of Trott, but the vastly experienced pair quietly accumulated in one’s and two’s against the seamers at the City End as the target dropped into double figures.
A spliced drive by Bell against Salter for three saw the home side reach 200 in the 66th over, before Trott square drove Smith for two to complete an 82-ball fifty. He then pulled Salter for four before cover-driving him for another four to bring up the century stand shortly before tea.
“Don’t panic! Don’t panic!” – the famous catchphrase of Lance Corporal Jones in the classic BBC TV comedy Dad’s Army whose 50th anniversary of the first episode being screened is being celebrated today by the Royal Mail with the release of a set of commemorative stamps. It could equally be the rallying cry of Chris Cooke, the acting Glamorgan captain as he rallies his own troops this morning as the Welsh county seek their first victory in a Championship match at Edgbaston for thirty years.
Last night, the Warwickshire openers safely negotiated thirteen overs after the previous hour had seen Glamorgan’s last five wickets tumble for 50 runs in seventeen overs after the home side had taken the new ball. There was no semblance of a chance last night but overhead conditions are very different this morning in the Birmingham conurbation with a heavy cloud cover and cooler temperatures as Warwickshire’s batsmen seek a further 269 runs on what is, in effect, the fifth day of play on the dry surface where the occasional delivery has already been keeping wickedly low, with spin likely to play a role during the afternoon.
Lukas Carey and Timm van der Gugten duly resumed the bowling under the leaden skies with Will Rhodes bisecting second slip and gully with an outside edge against Carey before drilling him through the covers. He then clipped van der Gugten to backward square-leg for four before completing an all-run four to bring up the fifty in the 21st over.
After forty minutes play, the floodlights came on as Andrew Salter entered the attack in tandem with Ruaidhri Smith, with the latter being driven to long-on for three. But is was the frugal Salter who ended the opening stand as with the total on 68 the becalmed Dom Sibley attempted to on-drive the off-spinner only to miscue to short mid-wicket where Smith diving full length to his left held the catch.
His departure saw the arrival of Ian Bell, the first innings centurion, after a pair of singles he pulled Smith for four to square-leg, followed later in the over by a cover driven four, before next over pulling him to mid-wicket. He then punched successive deliveries from Salter off the back foot through cover as Rhodes completed his two and a quarter hour fifty.
The flurry of fours continued as Rhodes clipped David Lloyd’s first delivery to the ropes at fine-leg before cover-droving the all-rounder. He then thick-edged a prod against Salter and was nearly snaffled at short-leg, before late-cutting Lloyd to third man