Dom Sibley stars again as Warwickshire chase down Notts

Warwickshire 488 (Sibley 215*, Hain 76) and 271 for 2 (Sibley 109, Burgess 61*) beat Nottinghamshire 498 (Mullaney 179, Clarke 125) and 260 (Clarke 112, Hannon-Dalby 4-54) by eight wickets

Dominic Sibley followed his unbeaten first-innings double century with another hundred as Warwickshire completed a successful run chase on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Sibley, who scored an undefeated 215 in the first innings, followed up with 109 as the visitors reached their target of 271 from a minimum of 58 overs with eight wickets to spare. The 24-year old opener Sibley scored his runs from 147 balls, with 10 fours, and shared in an opening stand of 146 with Will Rhodes, who made 65.

Having been on the field for virtually the entire match, Sibley was eventually bowled by Paul Coughlin, who took 2 for 85.

By that stage the victory was already in sight, with Michael Burgess hitting an unbeaten 61 after coming in at No. 3.

Earlier, the day had looked as if it might belong to Joe Clarke, who registered his second hundred of the match.

Clarke followed up his first innings score of 125 with 112 as Notts made 260 in their second innings. He was last out, bowled by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who took 4 for 54, with Jeetan Patel picking up 3 for 52.

Clarke’s championship season had begun with scores of 112 and 97 not out against Yorkshire in early April but off-field issues disrupted his campaign and he had failed to reach 50 in any of his 17 Division One innings since then.

Dropped for the previous match, he returned to the starting XI as Notts rested players ahead of this weekend’s Vitality Blast Finals Day. His return to form now puts him in contention to figure on Saturday as well.

The former Worcestershire batsman reached his sixteenth first-class century from 130 deliveries, having hit 15 fours.

“Firstly, Dom Sibley is a man in form and has played unbelievably well,” Clarke said. “As a close mate of mine, hopefully I can see him in England colours this winter.

“It was nice for me after missing out last week. I was gutted, so coming back in I worked really hard to show people I don’t want to be left out again.”

On the prospect of playing at Finals Day on Saturday, he added: “I felt like I went ok in the T20s and feel confident but the decision is in other people’s hands, not mine. I’ll have a swing and be prepped to go if I get the nod.”

Resuming from their overnight score of 105 for 5, a lead of 115, the home side had an early set-back when Coughlin was given out caught behind off Henry Brookes for 16.

Ravi Ashwin joined Clarke and kept the scoreboard moving in a partnership of 73, made in only 13 overs.

George Garrett broke the stand, gaining a positive lbw verdict against Ashwin, who made 42. The same bowler wasn’t able to build on his success, clutching his thigh as he limped out of the action during his next over.

Clarke was on 89 when he lost his next partner, Luke Fletcher, popping Patel into the hands of Sam Hain at short leg.

Patel dismissed Zak Chappell for a promising 29 soon after lunch and the innings was completed when Clarke was bowled trying to farm the strike. In his disappointment he knocked out a stump with his bat – apologising immediately to the umpires.

Brendan Taylor, who made 114 and 105 not out against Durham in 2016 was the last Nottinghamshire batsman to record two hundreds in the same match.

The visitors began well, reaching tea on 82 without loss, with Sibley unbeaten on 48 and Rhodes on 34.

Gradual accumulation saw the openers advance the score to 146 before they were separated. Rhodes, who had hit Ashwin for two leg-side sixes in his 80-ball half-century, picked out Chappell in the deep, upper-cutting Coughlin.

A tired-looking Sibley then wandered across his stumps but Burgess reached his 50 from 51 balls, leaving Matt Lamb to hit the winning run.

The match aggregate of 1,517 runs is the largest in the competition this summer but leaves Notts still without a victory at the foot of the table. They now turn their attention to Finals Day on Saturday, before completing their red-ball season against Surrey at The Kia Oval next week.

Warwickshire move up to sixth in the table with their victory and host Yorkshire in their final encounter.

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