Cricket: Giddins quick to impress

Warwickshire 490-9 dec; Sussex 172 & 49-1
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WARWICKSHIRE went a long way yesterday to reversing the losing run that has seen them succumb to Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire in succession.

Brian Lara opted to bat into the third day, but when Ashley Giles was briskly castled he decided that 490 runs was a big enough score to bowl at. Though the wicket remains friendly, his bowlers proved him right.

In his Sussex days Ed Giddins liked to take the ball first change, with a bit of wear to assist his natural swing, and was often a workhorse running up the hill. He came back here a quicker bowler, an England prospect with a hatful of wickets, and so Lara gave him the fresh cherry and the benefit of the slope.

They insist that drugs tests are random, but the return of Giddins to Hove was marked by the clinking of specimen bottles and all 22 players have been required to strain for the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He snicked out Wasim Khan, who made the opposite journey from Edgbaston to Hove in the winter, and after lunch he claimed the two top prizes, Chris Adams and Michael Bevan. The Australian felt that his pads had made a somewhat wooden sound, but he was lbw none the less.

Only opener Toby Peirce resisted as Warwickshire hustled the hosts towards the follow-on, and since he was eighth man out it was hardly worth removing his pads.

Fellow seamers Dougie Brown and Graeme Welch had joined Giddins among the wickets and there were two late scalps for the persistent Giles.

With summer at last arriving the experimental 1pm start bore fruit for the first time, but the evening crowd were watching Sussex with their backs to the wall, facing a long Saturday if they are to force an heroic draw.