Northants v Warwickshire: Bears win by innings at Wantage Road
|LV= County Championship Division One, Wantage Road|
|Warwickshire 602-9 dec beat Northants 312 & 185 by an innings and 105 runs|
|Warwickshire 23 pts, Northants 4 pts|
Warwickshire completed their third County Championship win of the season, comfortably beating Division One backmarkers Northants by an innings and 105 runs at Wantage Road.
Resuming on 51-3, Northants faced a tall order saving the game.
But, once opener James Middlebrook went for 50, the first of three wickets for Jeetan Patel, Northants were in peril.
Chris Woakes got a fourth wicket, while Rikki Clarke claimed two victims as Northants were bowled out for 185.
Matt Spriegel (42) offered resistance for the seventh wicket with Andrew Hall (25).
But Woakes, freed from his duties as 12th man for England at Lord's, came back to remove Hall, as he finished with an impressive eight-wicket match haul.
And that effectively heralded Northants' sixth defeat in seven Championship matches, which leaves them already 40 points short of safety.
Their next game is on Sunday in Manchester against the side just above them in the table, Lancashire, who were promoted with them as champions from Division Two nine months ago and are also struggling to challenge in the top flight.
Fifth-placed Warwickshire, whose next assignment is a home game with fourth-placed Yorkshire at Edgbaston, starting on Sunday, trail leaders Nottinghamshire, over whom they have a game in hand, by just 16 points.
Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton told BBC WM:
"We knew Northants weren't going to fall over. They've got solid players in James Middlebrook and Matt Spriegel.
"And they batted out for the draw against Durham in their first game, so they've clearly got it in them.
"But we knew if we kept being aggressive and disciplined, we'd get there, backed up by good catching.
"Especially that last spell from Chris Woakes, when he removed Andrew Hall."
BBC WM's Mike Taylor:
"Warwickshire bowled with considerable aggression to winkle out Northants well before tea.
"Chris Woakes and Rikki Clarke took turns to bowl hostile spells from the Football Stand End but, though there was plenty of short bowling, it was well directed.
"Woakes took one wicket today, to finish with eight in the match, and Clarke two, but they contributed to wickets falling at the other end as pressure built.
"The influence of the returning captain Jim Troughton was also manifest in attacking, unorthodox field-placings, and the catching was sharp. A vigorous performance, and a handsome win."