Chopra puts Warwickshire in control of Worcestershire

LV County Championship Division One, New Road
Close, day three: Warwickshire 201 & 411-3, Worcestershire 375
Worcs 7pts, Warwicks 4pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Varun Chopra hit his second double century of the season to bat Warwickshire into a powerful position against Worcestershire at New Road.

Resuming day three on 57, with his side 76-0, Chopra put on 185 for the third wicket with Mohammad Yousuf (81) as the Bears wiped out Worcestershire's lead.

And by the time they reached stumps on 411-3 Warwickshire were 237 ahead.

Chopra ended the day with a new career best 223 not out, beating the 210 he hit against Somerset last week.

And in achieving the feat, the 23-year-old became the first batsman in his county's history to score double centuries in back-to-back Championship fixtures.

He brought up his 200, which came off 314 balls, with 31 fours and a six, in style too, stroking three boundaries in five balls.

Warwickshire had begun the day still 98 behind and lost two wickets in the morning session as Worcestershire pressed.

Ian Westwood sliced a catch to point off Alan Richardson before William Porterfield was caught behind attempting to hook Gareth Andrew.

But Chopra and Pakistan Test batsman Yousuf, playing in his first Championship match since making a double century for Lancashire against Yorkshire in 2008, wore down the home attack.

Their stand was ended when Yousuf edged Andrew to Daryl Mitchell at second slip, but Bears captain Jim Troughton helped Chopra to the close with an unbeaten 42.

DAY THREE REACTION

BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley:

"A superb effort from Chopra on a wicket where the odd ball still did something unusual, as he took Warwickshire from a somewhat precarious position to one of total control.

"Worcestershire relied on a right arm medium pace attack for much of the day, with little variety, and although Moeen Ali has bowled a lot in recent seasons, he got on and then did not pose a threat.

"Worcestershire might curse their luck on occasions but Chopra and Mohammad Yousuf punished the poor ball and Chopra's back-foot drives took toll of anything short and wide of the off stump.

"Jim Troughton will now have to decide when to set Worcestershire a target, something that seemed very unlikely when his side were 159-9 on the first day.

"Having got into a position of strength against Yorkshire, and again in this game, another defeat would do little for Worcestershire's confidence."

BBC WM's Richard Wilford:

"Varun Chopra's remarkable emergence has the Bears in with a real chance of a second Championship victory - he became the first Warwickshire batsman to make double tons in successive Championship matches.

"Mohammad Yousuf also started to play himself into form - although their running between the wickets left a little to be desired.

"There's still some life in this week - Ant Botha's spin could be the key on day four."

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