Cricket: Moles suffers curse of being captain

Warwickshire 50-0 v Sussex
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The Independent Online
Only 16 overs were possible on a grey day here yesterday - but that was long enough for Warwickshire to increase their casualty list this season when their opener Andy Moles was obliged to retire after breaking the little finger of his left hand.

Batsmen up and down the country will probably exchange knowing looks at this news, bearing in mind Edgbaston's recent record, so it should be stressed that Moles was unlucky enough to encounter the wrong ball that bounced erratically as he played forward to Vasbert Drakes.

It had taken Drakes sometime to locate a full length - coming fresh from a very flat pitch at Derby he probably got over excited at seeing the new ball bounce generously - and Moles had not ventured much when he met a delivery that leapt at him and pinned his hand to the bat handle.

Moles joins two other Warwickshire captains, Tim Munton and Nick Knight on the sidelines. It is not yet clear how complicated the break is, but Moles is expected to be out of action for at least a fortnight; but, no matter what the medical advice is, Warwickshire's NatWest Trophy semi- final against Sussex here on 13 August will loom large in his thoughts.

Before Moles' mishap, Mark Wagh, playing his third championship match, had commended himself with some good looking strokes, notably a straight drive for four off the back foot which is usually a hint of latent talent.

Both openers were no doubt hoping to make the most of what the pitch offered once they had survived the new ball but first Moles's injury - and then the weather turned it into one of those miserable days.