Middlesex v Warwickshire: Chris Woakes and Keith Barker inspire Bears victory

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes is likely to be called up to England's squad for the three-Test series against West Indies
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's (day three):
Warwickshire 126 & 361: Lamb 71, Barker 62*; Higgins 4-75
Middlesex 161 & 136: Sowter 37; Barker 3-21, Woakes 3-38
Warwickshire (19 pts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by 190 runs

Warwickshire finally claimed a first County Championship win of the season with a 190-run victory over defending champions Middlesex at Lord's.

The Bears reached 361 in their second innings after a 97-run stand from Keith Barker (62 not out) and Chris Wright (41), leaving the hosts 327 to win.

Chris Woakes and Barker then tore through Middlesex's top order with three wickets each to leave them 45-6.

Steven Finn hit an entertaining 31, but Middlesex were all out for 136.

Under the stewardship of new sport director Ashley Giles and first-team coach Jim Troughton, Warwickshire had previously endured a nightmare Division One campaign, including four defeats by an innings.

However, the return of Woakes, after two months out with a side strain, provided a welcome boost for the Bears as the 28-year-old England all-rounder hit a half-century to go with his five wickets in the match.

There were also fine performances from debutant paceman Ryan Sidebottom, who took 4-29 in the first innings, on his first-ever visit to Lord's, and a career-best knock of 71 from 21-year-old batsman Matthew Lamb.

Despite taking 19 points from the capital, Warwickshire still face an uphill battle to avoid relegation, sitting 31 points behind sixth-placed Middlesex.

The hosts' plight was not helped by opener Nick Gubbins batting at eight after suffering a hamstring injury in the warm-up, but it mattered little as five of their top six batsmen made single figures.

Their hopes of retaining the County Championship title now appear to be over, with leaders Essex holding a huge points advantage over the London side.

Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton told BBC WM:

"The Great Escape tune was playing in the dressing-room after the game. We know we have a lot to do but we showed what we are capable of. It's a great win for us - but it's just one win and we need to follow it up.

"When we turned up and saw the pitch we knew it would be lively and far from a typical Lord's pitch, but to bowl them out in a session in their second innings was a brilliant effort. it really was the stuff of dreams for Ryan Sidebottom, who bowled very well and fully deserved his wickets.

"In the morning Barks and Wrighty batted really well to build our advantage and, with bad weather around and the forecast bad for tomorrow, we were even starting to think are we going to have to pull out here?

"But it worked out perfectly. Woakesy showed his class and Barks with the new ball was pretty much unplayable. And an hour after the game ended it was raining."

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