County round-up: Wonderful Woakes leads the rout of Hampshire

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The Independent Online

Corporate folk have a thing about rebranding, even when it seems quite unnecessary. Just as Marathon once inexplicably became Snickers, so the City End at Edgbaston is now the Birmingham End. Perhaps it is so spectators still taking in the unfamiliar view from the top of the enormous new pavilion don't forget where they are.

There was a familiar sight on the field, that of Chris Woakes taking wickets. The 22-year-old all-rounder now has 45 for the season in the Championship after returning 7 for 20 yesterday, which are not only the best figures of his career but the best by any bowler in the First Division this season. He is the third to take seven in an innings. Hampshire have been the unlucky ones on the receiving end in all three instances.

He was Warwickshire's best bowler by some distance yesterday, although the competition offered by Keith Barker in particular was erratic. Barker's six Championship wickets have cost 67 runs each; Woakes has his at 17.17.

It was his control of line and length and mental discipline that was so impressive. In one brilliant burst before lunch he took three wickets in 14 balls without conceding a run.

James Vince helped a rare short delivery to long leg but, finding movement off the seam from a green-tinged strip, Woakes for the most part undeniably earned his wickets.

Mascarenhas struck a blow for ailing Hampshire when he had Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught in the slips for one on his Championship debut for this county but Varun Chopra's half-century should ensure Warwickshire, who began this round 17 points behind the leaders Durham but with two games in hand, take a first-innings lead.

Dropped catches allowed Worcestershire to recover from 77 to 6 to 202 against second-placed Lancashire at Blackpool. Gareth Andrew made 61 after being put down on 28, Ben Scott 65 not out after an escape on 25. But Lancashire have a healthy advantage nonetheless.

Joe Root's maiden first-class century helped Yorkshire avoid the follow-on against Sussex at Scarborough, where umpire Trevor Jesty twice had to leave the field feeling unwell.

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