EDGBASTON (second day): Warwickshire 197-4 v Leicestershire
Encouraging batting from Tim Ambrose and Jonathan Trott enlightened an otherwise grim day at Edgbaston.
Fewer than 22 overs were possible on another rain truncated day, but the Warwickshire pair took their unbroken fifth-wicket partnership to 95 on a pitch still offering the seam bowlers some assistance.
Ambrose (93 balls, seven fours) was the more fluent of the pair. One back-foot drive to the boundary off Dillon du Preez was particularly pleasing, but he also cut and drove efficiently against the off-colour left-arm spinner, Claude Henderson.
Trott, meanwhile, sustained his impressive start to the season. After a grim 2007, he appears tremendously solid in defence and hungry for runs. This was his fourth score over 48 in six innings in all competitions.
He was made to work hard, however. He edged his first ball of the day, from du Preez, for a boundary and was later beaten by a delivery from Nadeem Malik that bounded sharply on off stump.
In between, however, he unveiled some high-quality strokes, including one delightfully timed straight drive off du Preez and reached his third half-century of the season off 119 deliveries.
Warwickshire were given confirmation that Ian Bell would be available to play in Monday's Friends Provident Trophy game against Leicestershire at Edgbaston.
Lee Daggett should also be fit after suffering a minor groin strain, while Naqaash Tahir is also available for selection again after recovering from sore shins.
It looks unlikely that Jim Troughton will be fit to return, however. Troughton has now had three injections into his back and will undergo a fitness test on Monday.
Boyd Rankin will undergo surgery on his shoulder on Friday, while James Ord has broken his right thumb and will be out for two weeks.
The club have also announced a new sponsorship deal with Sunrise Senior Living, providers of homes for the elderly. The team will wear the company name and logo on the back of their championship shirts.
James McLaughlin, commercial director at Edgbaston, said: "With more than 60 per cent of the club's membership being over 65 and living within a 15-mile radius, the appeal for Sunrise is the planning aspect of old age which they believe is very important."
The total sponsorship revenue is already a club record and more deals are expected to be announced next week.
Meanwhile a delegation of senior players has persuaded Warwickshire's chief executive to relent on an unpopular cost-cutting measure.
Colin Povey, eager to trim the club's expenditure after the record losses incurred in 2007, has cut the free lunches that were offered to staff in the Dollery restaurant during home games.
However club captain Darren Maddy and Ian Bell approached Povey and won a partial concession.
The dressing room attendants and members of the groundstaff, all of whom are expected to work long hours and remain at hand in case they are required, have had the perk reinstated.