Sweet Cake stand

Warwickshire 300-3 and 22-0 Cambridge Univ 220-7 dec
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The Independent Online
WARWICKSHIRE'S wicket-keeper, Keith Piper, injured a finger in pre-match practice here and did not appear after lunch, but he later reassured his relieved county coaching staff that the damage was not as serious as first feared.

Already without their captain, Dermot Reeve, the pace bowlers Gladstone Small and Allan Donald and the England A batsman Nick Knight, the last thing the champions wanted was another injury. Piper insisted: "I just stayed off as a precaution. I knocked a finger back in practice, but it is nothing serious and I will definitely be fit to play on Thursday."

Trevor Penney took over behind the stumps and crowned an athletic display by holding a one-handed catch to dismiss Cambridge University's top scorer, Russell Cake. The middle-order batsman had shared a spirited third-wicket stand of 119 with the nightwatchman David Churton, who contributed a career- best 39 to a partnership which spanned 42 overs.

The stand enabled Cambridge to recover from a disastrous start when, resuming at nine for one in reply to the county's 300 for three, the students lost their second wicket to the day's third ball before launching their recovery.

Cake was always the dominant partner but Churton, whose previous best had been the 14 he made on his debut against Yorkshire at the start of the season, lent valuable support.

They had taken the score to 69 when the second rain stoppage of the day brought an early lunch and afterwards, when Warwickshire switched to an all-spin attack, they continued to build steadily. Cake, having reached his fifty from 85 balls with nine fours, drove Neil Smith straight for four to send up the 100 and hoisted the next ball for six over long-on to raise the century partnership.

They had taken the score to 128 when Smith made the breakthrough as Churton unluckily played on for 39 and Cake, as so often happens after a long partnership, quickly followed him back to the pavilion. Richard Battye and John Carroll added another 84 for the fifth wicket before the declaration came at 220 for seven - 80 runs behind. There was just enough time for Warwickshire to score 22 from seven overs before the third shower of the day brought an early finish.

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