Chopra makes title a near certainty for Warwickshire

Worcestershire 60 & 100-2 Warwickshire 471-8

New Road

Worcestershire restored a measure of self-esteem by passing their first-innings total with only one wicket down yesterday after Warwickshire gave themselves seven sessions to win this match and clinch the County Championship but it was impossible to see their second innings as anything but an exercise in delaying the inevitable.

Warwickshire's declaration at 471 for 8 left Worcestershire, trailing by 411, needing to exceed their highest total of the season by 71 even to require Warwickshire's openers to pad up again. On a pitch that has never been entirely comfortable for batting, even when Varun Chopra was making 195, it will require enormous resolve for Worcestershire to take the match into a fourth day.

Given that the title eluded Warwickshire last year when it was theirs to win, albeit in different circumstances, director of cricket Ashley Giles was reluctant to presume anything last night. His side were favourites to pip Lancashire last season, but after reaching the final day needing seven wickets to beat Hampshire at the Rose Bowl they could take only four.

"I don't like to talk about winning the title before it happens because I did that last year and it didn't happen," Giles said. "We have a better chance than last year in that we have two days left rather than one and we were facing a strong Hampshire batting line-up on a good pitch.

"But we just have to be patient and get the job done and then we'll celebrate. I didn't sleep a lot last night and I don't suppose I will tonight."

Warwickshire's first objective yesterday was to secure four batting points, which they did with seven balls to spare. It means that with a win they cannot be caught. Still there at that point was Chopra, whose impressive performance did his personal prospects no harm as well as putting his team in a seemingly impregnable position.

The 25-year-old right-handed opener made a double hundred on this ground last season and though he fell five runs short this time, bowled missing a drive off the medium pace of Joe Leach, he had done more than enough to confirm to national selector Geoff Miller, who was at Headingley to watch Joe Root on Tuesday, that he should be on the list of candidates to replace Andrew Strauss in the England side.

Chopra is the fourth batsman to pass 1,000 runs for the first-class season, following Nick Compton – another on Miller's list – Chris Rogers and James Hildreth.

Chopra's departure might have been the cue for Warwickshire to pull out but Jim Troughton, the captain, clearly fancied a 400-plus lead and Ian Blackwell (84) and Keith Barker obliged him by smashing 80 off the next 13 overs.

Barker then took his 52nd wicket of the season as Phil Hughes surrendered without a run on the board, flailing at a widish ball that was well caught at third slip. Worcestershire had more backbone than to collapse in another heap and were 100 for 2 at the close but Warwickshire's title – and their relegation – is only a matter of time.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine