An astonishing lower-order batting effort gave Warwickshire an epic victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last week
Nottinghamshire: 273 & 260 (5 points), Warwickshire: 201 & 333-7 (20 points). Warwickshire win by 3 wickets.
In a County Championship game for the ages, 10-man Warwickshire produced a miracle at Trent Bridge as they chased down 333 in the final session of the match.
It appeared very likely since the close of day 2 that Nottinghamshire had secured their first red-ball victory since 2018 – a dire winless streak lasting 28 matches. When Warwickshire were 184-6, playing with 10 men after England opener Dom Sibley fractured a finger on day 1, it looked certain.
But an unbeaten 68 from former England all-rounder Tim Bresnan, combined with an unlikely 43 from England’s Olly Stone and a crucial knock by Danny Briggs (16 not out), secured the unlikeliest of victories.
Warwickshire began the day on 85-3, having lost Will Rhodes for 44 in the final over of Day 3. But a chance of victory suddenly seemed very much alive when Sam Hain and Matt Lamb guided Warwickshire to 167-3 at lunch. Hain’s battle with England’s Stuart Broad just before lunch – a vicious spell of short-ball bowling that saw Hain receive multiple body blows – will not be forgotten by anyone watching.
A swift collapse followed after lunch, as South Africa international Dane Paterson took three quick-fire wickets for the second time in the match, including the prized wickets of Hain (57) and Lamb (50). Warwickshire required 149 runs before Stone and Bresnan’s 113-run partnership.
The tension was unbearable as Warwickshire edged closer and closer to their target. There were audible gasps when Notts’ wicketkeeper Tom Moores dropped Bresnan off the bowling of Broad, with 32 runs still required and Stone recently dismissed by Broad. The fact that no one knew if Sibley would bat only added to the drama.
In a game full of international stars, the first two days were almost identical, with Warwickshire having the better of things until the halfway point, only to have their hard work undone.
Midway through day 1, Nottinghamshire were 119-6 having chosen to bat first. However, a career-best 73 not out from all-rounder Liam Patterson-White and some support from the tail carried Notts to 273. It was an eventful innings; in addition to Sibley’s injury, captain Will Rhodes took four wickets and ran out Lyndon James in spectacular fashion, while India international Hanuma Vihari made a stunning catch at mid-wicket on his debut to dismiss Steven Mullaney. Meanwhile, Stone troubled batsmen with his frightening pace, taking two wickets.
Rhodes survived to stumps with the bat, but both Rob Yates and Vihari fell without scoring.
Broad dismissed Rhodes in the first over of day 2, but night watchman Briggs and England Lions batter Hain rallied for Warwickshire, taking the visitors to 113-3 at lunch.
In what cannot have much precedent, there was a wicket in the opening over of all three sessions, as Briggs was trapped LBW by Broad for a valiant 36. His innings will remind Bears fans of Chris Wright, who was successful in the nightwatchman role for many years until his departure in 2018.
Hain played beautifully and looked well set for his century, but was suddenly trapped LBW by Patterson-White for 72. This left Warwickshire 176-6 after James had Lamb caught behind by Moores for seven.
When Bresnan and Michael Burgess guided Warwickshire to 199-6 at tea, the game seemed perfectly poised. But ten minutes after the interval, Warwickshire suddenly found themselves 201 all out with a mountain to climb.
In Sibley’s absence, Nottinghamshire only needed nine wickets, and a blistering spell by Paterson saw Warwickshire lose their final three wickets for one run.
The Nottinghamshire batsmen then used the momentum created by their bowlers, keeping the score ticking at more than three runs an over, albeit without much pressure being put on them. With each ball, Warwickshire’s chances diminished even more, and they ended a bitterly disappointing day 200 runs behind searching for eight further wickets.
Warwickshire were far livelier and more refreshed in the field on day 3. Rhodes and Stone bowled excellently to remove the previous night’s half-centurions Joe Clarke and Haseeb Hameed early on, with both nicking behind to Burgess.
Mullaney and James survived an early onslaught before steering Nottinghamshire to 188-4 at lunch. The lead was now a seemingly comfortable 260.
Three wickets in four balls for Briggs saw Notts collapse from 218-5 to 219-8, and Oliver Hannon-Dalby soon had Broad caught by Hain at slip to reduce Notts to 221-9. Paterson and Zak Chappell then added a quick-fire 39 to set Warwickshire 333 from 130 overs. On an increasingly difficult wicket to bat on, it seemed that this was too much to ask, especially after Yates and Vihari were dismissed for single figures.
Instead, there were jubilant scenes in the Warwickshire dressing room 24 hours later, as Bresnan hit the winning runs with a cut through point.
While Nottinghamshire’s winless run continues, Warwickshire have ended their own streak of failing to capitalise on strong positions. Last season they carried the initiative throughout their matches against Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, but they managed to lose to Gloucester while drawing the other games. They repeated the trend in the opening match against Derby, and it looked like history had repeated itself again here.
But a remarkable show of character on the final day secured their first win since 2019. This memorable victory could be a springboard for Warwickshire’s season.
The win also takes Warwickshire joint-top of their group alongside Essex, who visit Edgbaston on Thursday.
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