Parker takes debut honours to give Warwickshire hope

Warwickshire 219 Nottinghamshire 163-2
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The Independent Online

Without Ian Bell and Ashley Giles for obvious reasons, Warwickshire were missing four other regular first-team players, plus a couple of back-ups, because of injuries.

The veteran Trevor Penney would have played his first Championship match for two years had he not hurt his back. Instead, 21-year-old batsman Luke Parker made his Championship debut, with James Anyon, the 22-year-old pace bowler, promoted from the one-day side to take Heath Streak's place.

Parker could be pleased with himself. The former Oxford UCCE captain made 51 not out to help British Universities beat Bangladesh A on Monday and, aided by Dewald Pretorious in a stand of 45 for the ninth wicket, his unbeaten 34 yesterday gave Warwickshire's innings some belated substance.

Its value was enhanced by the calamitous collapse of their middle order, quite unexpected after Nick Knight, the captain, had shared an opening partnership of 101 with another rookie, the 23-year-old opener Ian Westwood, to give his side their best start to a Championship innings this season.

Knight's decision to bat first ­ it was the first toss he had won in a four-day game this summer ­ had seemed entirely justified, at least for the first hour and a half. But then Knight was caught behind reaching for a ball from Mark Ealham and when Westwood nicked an away-swinger in the bowler's next over, Warwickshire turned brittle.

In contrast to the morning, their afternoon was a disaster. From 128 for 2 at lunch they were dismissed before tea for 219, the last eight wickets going for 84, including a horrendous run of five for 17 as Andrew Harris and Ryan Sidebottom found the penetration that had eluded them earlier.

Parker had some luck on five when the wicketkeeper Chris Read dropped a a top-edged pull after running to square leg. Greg Smith, the unlucky bowler, knocked over nine-10-jack by way of compensation but the miss allowed Warwickshire to scramble a point.

However, the day hardly improved. Jonathan Trott spilled Jason Gallian at third slip when he was on two, which cost 60 runs before Gallian holed out to deep midwicket going after the off-spin of Alex Loudon, who then had Warren caught at forward short leg. But, with Stephen Fleming joining Darren Bicknell, who is unbeaten on 71, the recovery seems well under way.