WARWICKSHIRE let Nottinghamshire well and truly off the hook as the home side posted a meaty 388 after they were put in at Trent Bridge.
The Bears had no hesitation in choosing to bowl in helpful conditions – and initially prospered as Nottinghamshire wobbled to 43 for three.
But heavy punishment was then handed out as Adam Voges launched a counter-attack which reached a crescendo with a buccaneering century from captain Chris Read.
Read finished with 110 (148 balls, 17 fours) as runs racked up at almost five an over for much of the day. The Bears bowlers, including Sreesanth on his championship debut, beat the bat plenty of times but the tally of 52 fours and three sixes plundered illustrates the degree of loose fare purveyed.
A tally of 49 extras, including 35 no-balls, hardly helped either. Warwickshire’s batsmen, including Ian Bell in search of runs to safeguard his England place, must bat well to prevent Read’s side taking command today.
For an hour in the morning, Naqaash Tahir flirted with emulating Eric Hollies’ 1946 feat of taking an all-ten against Nottinghamshire. Given the new ball ahead of Sreesanth, Tahir sent down an opening spell of 9-0-30-3. He trapped Scott Newman lbw, had Matt Wood caught in the gully and bowled former team-mate Mark Wagh through the gate.
Adam Voges attacked freely though and, with the more patient Samit Patel, added 97 in 14 overs before lunch. Voges pulled Boyd Rankin for successive sixes and hit ten fours, many driven exquisitely, in 68 from 78 balls before slicing Sreesanth to gully.
That was the Indian’s first championship wicket. His second followed three balls later when Ally Brown drove loosely and Rikki Clarke swooped at second slip.
From an uneasy 141 for five, Nottinghamshire were rescued by Read who galloped to 50 from 45 balls with ten fours. He added 83 in 14 overs with Patel before the latter fell lbw to a good ball from Clarke.
Mark Ealham, in his 20th and final season in county cricket, provided the skipper with another valuable partner. They added 84 in 25 overs and, after Ealham edged into the cordon, Read powered on, his 16th four, clipped through mid-wicket off Chris Woakes, taking him to his century from 132 balls. Tahir finally uprooted Read’s middle stump but some thumping blows from Andre Adams (32, 25 balls) rounded off a taxing day in the field for Ian Westwood’s men.
Westwood and stand-in opener Ant Botha batted steadily to survive nine overs before the close.
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