County Championship: Rikki Clarke puts Warwickshire on top against Nottinghamshire

Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke
Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke now has 21 County Championship wickets this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston
Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire, day two
Nottinghamshire 152: Libby 59; Patel 3-8, Clarke 3-24, Rankin 3-42
Warwickshire 283-8: Clarke 74, Ambrose 72, Hain 39; Ball 4-76
Warwickshire lead Nottinghamshire by 131 runs with two wickets remaining
Warwickshire 5 pts, Nottinghamshire 2 pts
Match scorecard

Warwickshire built a useful 131-run lead on day two against Nottinghamshire as Rikki Clarke followed up a three-wicket haul with a half-century.

Clarke and Jeetan Patel (3-8) claimed two morning scalps each as Notts fell from 125-6 overnight to 153 all out.

The Bears were then soon in bother themselves at Edgbaston on 48-4 after a lively spell from Jake Ball (4-76).

But Warwickshire compiled three half-century stands to close on 283-8 thanks to Clarke (74) and Tim Ambrose (72).

Notts were hampered by the loss of Luke Fletcher, who went off with a groin injury after delivering the first ball of his 11th over, having earlier been dazed after being hit on the head by a Boyd Rankin lifter.

But, after Ball had removed Varun Chopra, Andy Umeed and home skipper Ian Bell inside his first six overs, it was Ambrose who launched the Bears' customary lower-order recovery.

The Warwickshire wicketkeeper shared 69 for the fifth wicket with Sam Hain (39), before putting on a further 64 with Clarke before he became the third of three good slip catches for Steven Mullaney.

Clarke then added a further 55 with Keith Barker (21), before he himself went late in the day, picking out Brett Hutton on the midwicket boundary to give the deserving Ball a fourth wicket.

Earlier, after all-rounder Clarke (3-24) had removed Dan Christian and Hutton, both caught behind, Patel had finished off Notts with two wickets in four deliveries, the first of which brought him his 600th first-class wicket.

The dismissal of last man Ball, stumped by Ambrose, earned the Bears glove man a sixth dismissal of the innings.

Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose told BBC WM:

"The guys bowled well again this morning and then with the bat we recovered from a difficult position after lunch. We showed a lot of quality and fight in the last two sessions to get into a good position.

"Generally at Edgbaston the pitch gets easier as the day goes on. That's been a theme here for a while but it just shows how consistent and disciplined our bowling was. We didn't give them anything to hit and kept them under pressure.

"It was nice to score some runs again. The innings was a little bit more free-flowing than last week's at Old Trafford, but it was disappointing not to go on and make a bit more of a meaningful contribution.

"The other guys did really well. Rikki Clarke batted superbly and Mark Adair, in only his second game, played really well to get us into a strong position with power to add."

Nottinghamshire first-team coach Wayne Noon:

"Both teams might feel that they misread the pitch a bit. We both wanted to bat because it looked a very hard, true surface but it has done a lot more than we thought.

"Saying that, 152 all out first innings is not acceptable. We fought back well before lunch and Jake Ball was exceptional and showed why he is on the England radar but the game slipped away from us in the afternoon. It is a big lead on this pitch.

"Rikki Clarke and Tim Ambrose put their experience to good use and played very well. We stuck at it but we are now going to have to bat really well. Our experienced batters, our strength over the years, have to stand up and be counted and lead from the front. We definitely need to pull our socks up and put in a performance that merits wearing the Notts shirt.

"Luke Fletcher is a bit groggy because he took a fair clunk on the head from a Boyd Rankin lifter. And he has got a bit of tightness in his groin so we will see how he is in the morning."

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