Worcestershire v Warwickshire: Chopra century after hosts slump
|County Championship Division One, Worcester|
|Close, day one: Worcestershire 60, Warwickshire 215-2|
|Warwickshire 4pts, Worcestershire 0pts|
Worcestershire were reduced to their worst Championship score in 41 years as Warwickshire moved a step closer to winning the Division One title.
The hosts were dismissed for 60 as Chris Wright (5-24) and Keith Barker (5-36) helped the visitors dominate.
Warwickshire will become champions if they score at least 350 runs in their first innings and win the match.
They reached 215-2 thanks to Varun Chopra (115 not out), Ian Westwood (54) and Jim Troughton (29 not out).
Brett D'Oliveira top scored for Worcestershire with 18 as seven of his team-mates were dismissed for single-figure scores as their side made their lowest total against Warwickshire.
The score of 60 was also Worcestershire's worst against any opposition in a Championship match since they were bowled out for 40 against Leicestershire at New Road in August 1971.
Warwickshire's Chris Wright and Keith Barker bowled unchanged for 135 minutes and both players have now taken more than 50 Championship wickets apiece this season.
Chopra hit 18 boundaries in his century, his third in the Championship this season, as he and Westwood put on 136 runs for the opening wicket.
Worcestershire, who will be relegated if they lose and Surrey beat Nottinghamshire, are facing their seventh Championship loss of the season.
The hosts will begin day two on Wednesday already 155 runs behind and with an uphill battle to avoid an innings defeat.
VIEWS FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC WM commentator Mike Taylor:
"Warwickshire supporters will now be asking not whether they will win the championship but when: perhaps within 24 hours, perhaps 48.
"They swept Worcestershire aside rather too easily. Varun Chopra cut with precision and drove with elegance to match his century in the CB40 semi-final on Saturday with another here.
"Warwickshire's players were professional and respectful enough to note they aren't past the finishing post just yet, but you couldn't begrudge them their smiles. We know, and they know.
"At the same time, though, many will take little pleasure in Worcestershire's plight.
"They have spent rather more time in the first division in recent years than other counties with rather greater resources, but their current spell above deck is now ending.
"They had a ghastly day, and, for the moment, these neighbouring sides are heading in opposite directions."