Round-up: Strauss begins slow recovery


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The Independent Online

Andrew Strauss eased a little closer to finding form ahead of the Test series against West Indies, although his 49 for Middlesex against Worcestershire at Lord's was not without incident.

The England captain was dropped in the slips on five off the in-form Alan Richardson, but recovered to hit the same bowler over square leg for six before he was denied a half-century – just before the players went off for bad light – when he was leg before to the medium pace of 18-year-old Aneesh Kapil.

Strauss's England team-mate, Ian Bell, added only 14 to his overnight 106 before he was caught off Mitch Claydon. Warwickshire had been 14 for 4 at one stage on Thursday, while Bell had been the only batsman among the top five to score more than two, but late runs from Jeetan Patel yesterday helped them to a lead of 104, which looked useful indeed when Durham were bowled out for 139 in their second innings.

Keith Barker took his second five-wicket haul to finish with 10 wickets in a match for the first time before Warwickshire confirmed their place at the top of the First Division table, winning by nine wickets with over a day to spare.