Bears bolster title bid with win

PA Sport
Ian Westwood scored a match-winning 83 for Warwickshire
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Ian Westwood scored a match-winning 83 for Warwickshire

Warwickshire consolidated their position at the top of the LV= County Championship Division One table after sealing a seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire with more than a day to spare at Edgbaston.

After Varun Chopra was dismissed for 58, fellow opener Ian Westwood pushed onto 83 before being trapped in front by Chris Russell.

William Porterfield made 37 before he was caught by Vikram Solanki off the bowling of Moeen Ali, before Jim Troughton (34) and Darren Maddy (45) saw their side to the 260-run target.

Elsewhere, a solid half-century from Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales frustrated Somerset as the rain-ruined match at Taunton drifted to an inevitable draw.

The visitors comfortably batted out time to close on 176 for five after conceding a first-innings lead of 93, Hales leading the way with 54 and James Taylor making 46, before the players shook hands at 5.20pm.

The hosts, who began the day on 187 for six, were bowled out for 249, missing out on a second batting point by just one run, with James Hildreth dismissed for 83 after starting the day on 63.

Somerset took seven points from the game and Notts six and with Warwickshire's win, the outcome was a blow to the title hopes of both teams.

Meanwhile, Sussex captain Ed Joyce (49 not out) defied a bowler-friendly pitch at Hove as the hosts closed day one of their LV= County Championship match on 106 for three, trailing Middlesex by 64 runs.

It was a good day for a Sussex side who have climbed into title contention on the back of three successive home wins.

Earlier, under clear blue skies, Middlesex were all out for 170 with number 10 Tim Murtagh (34) the highest scorer, as Amjad Khan picked up five for 25 after Joyce had won the toss and inserted the visitors.

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