Apr 212013

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Lv County Championship

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Chris Wright kept his name in front of the England selectors as champions Warwickshire skittled Durham for 94 to register their first win of the season, by 318 runs in the LV= County Championship Division One game at Edgbaston.

Badly hampered by the weather in an opening draw with Derbyshire, Warwickshire got their title defence up and running as they tore through a fragile Durham batting line-up with 46 overs to spare on the final day.

Wright, having taken the one wicket to fall before the close on yesterday, became the spearhead in a morning spell of 3-10 and an overall return of 6-31 – his best performance for Warwickshire.

Since taking the Championship-clinching wicket at Worcester last September – his 62nd of the campaign – there have been no limits to the 27-year-old’s development.

Chris Wright

Chris Wright’s 6-31, which came in a 318-run demolition of Durham at Edbgastobn, was his best return for County Champions Warwickshire

After a Lions tour to Australia, he was named in England’s provisional squad for the Champions Trophy on the back of his eight wickets against MCC in Abu Dhabi.

Durham were overwhelmed by his opening salvo and finally slumped to a comprehensive defeat, despite Phil Mustard’s defiance in making 28 in 140 minutes.

For captain Paul Collingwood it was a reminder that his team may have only covered the cracks in last year’s climb from the bottom of the table.

An opening win versus Somerset last week raised hopes that the improvement would continue, but even then a shortage of runs from the top order was clear to all.

Now in 16 innings the first four batsmen have scored 99 runs and mustered only three double-figure scores between them.

In the first attempt here, Durham were able to able to turn things round with a partnership of 153 between Collingwood and Scott Borthwick, but there was no fallback position when Warwickshire scented victory.

A procession began with Mark Stoneman and Will Smith nicking deliveries from Wright before Dale Benkenstein pulled a short ball from the paceman to Jeetan Patel at midwicket.

Keith Barker, awarded his county cap yesterday, got into the act with a clear-cut lbw dismissal for Ben Stokes and, in little more than hour, Collingwood was facing a familiar situation with his side on 29 for five.

The original victory target of 413 may have disappeared into dreamland, but the former England all-rounder stubbornly held out for an hour for five runs until he edged to second slip in Chris Woakes’ fifth over.

Wright led a second wave of pressure after lunch when Tim Ambrose held a defensive nudge from Borthwick and a top edge by Callum Thorp.

Off-spinner Patel served a dual purpose, removing Graham Onions and levelling out the over-rate, before Mustard was last out – caught at point off Woakes.

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