Just as it seemed their disappointing season might be about to perk up, champions Warwickshire have lost Chris Wright, leading wicket-taker in their title-winning side, for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his back.
The 27-year-old seamer, who earned an England Lions call-up in May, was unable to bowl in the second innings against Middlesex at Uxbridge last week – when Warwickshire earned only their second win of the season – and faces a six-month rehabilitation.
Warwickshire could still mount a late resurgence in defence of their title, although anything less than a win over Nottinghamshire would surely leave them too far adrift of First Division leaders Sussex and anxious about being dragged into a relegation struggle.
They won the toss and elected to bat at Edgbaston but on a slow pitch needed 72 overs to claim a first batting point before losing Chris Woakes and Rikki Clarke in quick succession to be 213 for 6, the latter falling to a stunning one-handed catch at midwicket by James Taylor. Earlier, Uxbridge double centurion Varun Chopra made only 10 and Ian Westwood, dropped on 32 and 50, passed 6,000 career first-class runs but fell for 68, before Laurie Evans (85) led a recovery to 254 for 6 at the close.
Veteran Murray Goodwin continues to suggest Sussex might have been premature in dispensing with his services after 12 years. The 40-year-old Zimbabwean, who averaged 1,200 first-class runs per season in his stint at Hove, was released seemingly on the strength of one lean season in 2012, when he managed only 360. Yet he has rediscovered his form emphatically since joining Glamorgan, for whom he completed his third century of the season against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Gloucestershire supporters have received an apology from captain Michael Klinger for the state of the pitch after his side were bowled out for 96 in the first Twenty20 match to be staged at the Cheltenham Festival on Sunday. “No one expected the wicket to be of such a poor standard,” Klinger said. Tonight, his side meet Northamptonshire in another Twenty20 at the College Ground.