Hick looks to delay Warwickshire's title ambitions

Warwickshire 460 Worcestershire 161-3

It might have looked like a lost cause but no one told Graeme Hick that. Even as his team-mates, exhausted after all the running and fetching they had had to do as Warwickshire ground their way to four batting bonus points and their highest completed Championship innings without a century, the run machine was building a sizeable innings of his own.

It might have looked like a lost cause but no one told Graeme Hick that. Even as his team-mates, exhausted after all the running and fetching they had had to do as Warwickshire ground their way to four batting bonus points and their highest completed Championship innings without a century, the run machine was building a sizeable innings of his own.

Even if he does reach three figures- he is on 78 not out - he and his fourth-wicket partner Kadeer Ali will need to work extremely hard if Worcestershire are to score the 150 runs they need to take them to 311 and avoid the follow-on.

For their part, Warwickshire, in whipping out the first three wickets to earn their first bowling point, erased Kent from the chasing pack of Championship challengers and are as good as there. If they are not quite grasping the silverware, then their breath, after yesterday's exertions, is certainly causing the trophy to mist up.

Hick and Ali did make batting look a lot easier than it had appeared to be at the start of the Worcestershire innings, when the early dismissals of Stephen Moore, Stephen Peters and Ben Smith promised catastrophe for the home team. Worcestershire really needed a victory in each of their last two fixtures to have a chance of escaping relegation. The tumbling of that trio - two to Heath Streak and one to Dougie Brown - did not help the collective cause.

But Hick and Ali did not panic. Hick took the aggressive route and hammered a half-century off 57 balls, setting the ground abuzz as the prospect of a brisk hundred loomed.

Ali played a perfect foil to Hick's sabre, patiently making his way to his highest score of the season and the fourth half-century of his career much later in the day. By then Hick, who was dropped by Jonathan Trott at slip off Jim Troughton's effective left-arm spin when on 63, had rather gone into a shell.

Earlier, Warwickshire's batsmen had done their stuff. They missed out on maximum batting points but they still passed 400 in the first innings for the 11th time this season. They required a sterling stand of 114 for the seventh wicket between Troughton and Naqaash Tahir to get them anywhere near the mark.

Troughton, who has been rediscovering his touch, was well caught by Steve Rhodes when the total was just shy of the mark, but Tahir stuck it out, making a career-best 49. The tail then wagged long enough to present Worcestershire with a formidable task. Now a county waits on Hick.

¿ Nottinghamshire have announced the signing of Northamptonshire off-spinner Graeme Swann on a three-year deal. The 25-year-old has toured South Africa, Zimbabwe and the West Indies with the full national squad and has played one-day international cricket for England.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate