Warwickshire need 228 more runs to dent Nottinghamshire’s title ambitions at Edgbaston, giving Jonathan Trott an opportunity to mark his comeback to first-class cricket with a match-winning innings.
Chris Woakes had nudged the England selectors by bowling Warwickshire back into contention with a season-best 5 for 35 as Nottinghamshire managed only 225 in their second innings.
Trott, whose appearance in this match followed an 11-week absence from the Championship after a relapse of his stress disorder, again faced a series of short-pitched balls from Australia’s Peter Siddle but ended 19 not out from 40 deliveries.
Warwickshire’s loss of opener Varun Chopra, caught off a top edge as he tried to pull a ball from Siddle, and William Porterfield, leg-before to Harry Gurney, left them looking towards Trott’s experience to guide them home on the final day.
A fine match for Woakes, who made 91 with the bat on Monday, continued when he dismissed nightwatchman Luke Fletcher and opener Steven Mullaney in his first spell but it was when he returned for his second burst that Nottinghamshire lost important momentum as Alex Hales was bowled by one that kept low.
The wicket ended an 84-run partnership and although Phil Jaques, who had passed fifty with his ninth boundary just before the loss of Hales for 31, prospered for a while, Nottinghamshire were unable to develop another lasting partnership. Jaques, who returns to Australia after this match to coach, was bowled off an inside edge for 79, driving at Boyd Rankin, which gave him an aggregate of 894 from 20 innings for Nottinghamshire at 49.66, with two hundreds.
The next best score was 34 by Samit Patel, who drove straight to mid-on off Woakes, who completed his five by getting Andre Adams caught at deep extra cover.
At Lord’s, Steven Crook scored Northamptonshire’s highest individual score (131) in a best-of-season team total of 384 but Middlesex still led by 104 runs on first innings. At Taunton, all-rounder Craig Overton was denied a maiden century when he was caught at slip off left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan on 99, but Somerset’s 484 left Lancashire needing 218 to make them bat again.