Woakes helps Bears to claw their way to top

Warwickshire 201 & 461-8dec Worcestershire 375 & 199 (Warwickshire win by 88 runs)

Given that Worcestershire are expected to be the whipping boys of Division One, the merits of a win here might have to be taken in context. But Warwickshire's victory by 88 runs yesterday could be admired for two sound reasons.

First, they achieved it from a difficult position in the match, having conceded a lead of 174 on first innings. Varun Chopra's second double-century of the season turned the contest on its head but captain Jim Troughton had to time his declaration carefully so Worcestershire would not be tempted to shut up shop.

Second, they at least diluted, if not disproved, the theory that their stunning win over title favourites Somerset in the opening round of games was not a freak. Apart from Chopra, they can point to another high-class performance from Chris Woakes, their 22-year-old all-rounder, who hit 129 and took 6 for 85 at Taunton and followed up with 6 for 49 yesterday as Worcestershire, chasing 288 from a minimum of 75 overs were all out for 199.

An up-and-down pitch was always likely to make life hazardous for the batsmen but Woakes exploited the conditions superbly. The deliveries he found for Daryl Mitchell and Vikram Solanki were too good, the inswinger in the first instance resulting in a bat-pad catch that was well taken at short leg before Solanki, who had just picked up a couple of confident boundaries, had no answer to one that swung away late, edging it to first slip.

Accounting for James Cameron too as Worcestershire failed to lay the necessary foundations for the chase, Woakes ended his first spell with 3 for 23 from 12 overs, coming back with a further 3 for 16 in eight to mop up most of the tail before Boyd Rankin completed the job with more than an hour left.

In between, Ant Botha, the left-arm spinner, had made a couple of important contributions, taking a return catch from an indecisive Moeen Ali drive, then celebrating loudly after Alexei Kervezee, the only batsman to offer any serious threat, was superbly caught at cover off a leading edge for 65.

The result means that Warwickshire, who will have Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott available for three matches next month, are level with Lancashire at the top of Division One after two games – the big plus for them having been the outstanding form shown by Chopra, who wrote himself into the record books with his career-best 228 here, having composed the first double-hundred of his career to set up the win over Somerset.

The 23-year-old former Essex opener is the first batsman in Warwickshire's history to score double-centuries in back-to-back matches, which is a fair distinction considering that the county numbers the likes of Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai and Brian Lara among its former players.

Chopra has already exceeded his total runs for the whole of last season, although an aggregate of just 409 from 18 innings in 2010 should not necessarily be taken to indicate a poor year by the former England Under-19 captain.

Having moved away from Chelmsford during the preceding winter, he had not properly settled into a struggling Warwickshire team when a broken hand put him out of action for several weeks. On his return he began to slow glimpses of his true quality, especially in a match-winning 76 against Yorkshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-final.

After such a productive start – he has 496 runs in the bank already – Chopra has a chance to become the first batsman since Graeme Hick in 1988 to score 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May, with potentially 10 more chances available to him.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot