Watch Ian and you’ll be alright!
Paul Bolton sees Ian Westwood dig Warwickshire out of an early season hole
Warwickshire coach Jim Troughton advised his young batsmen to use Ian Westwood’s first innings 153 as the perfect example of how to compile an innings as opener.
Westwood missed Warwickshire’s pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi and the first three weeks of the new campaign with a broken foot which he suffered batting in the nets last month.
He made his comeback with a half century in a Second XI clash against Worcestershire last week before Warwickshire withdrew him to prepare for this match. And Westwood provided the ballast that Warwickshire had lacked in successive innings defeats by Surrey at the Oval and Yorkshire at Edgbaston by rattling to a 130-ball century, the quickest Championship hundred of his career.
The left-hander applied himself diligently when Surrey’s bowlers tightened up their lines and played an important part in helping Warwickshire from becoming the first side ever to suffer three innings defeat before the end of April with a gritty half century in their second innings.
“People talk about Ian being dogged but I thought he was very fluent,” Troughton said. “I’ve told a lot of our younger guys to watch that innings back.
“In terms of opening the batting throughout your career, that’s going to be as tough a job as you are going to get without going to the next level and he showed his class there.
“He batted three sessions under lights in murky conditions against a quality attack. It’s just a shame that he got out right at the end of the first day which was a killer blow.”
Although they lost their last seven wickets for 69 – five for 42 against the second new ball – and trailed by 105 on first innings, Warwickshire rediscovered some of their fighting spirit by batting through the final day to deny Surrey a quick double over them.
Having stopped the rot, Warwickshire now have to wait a month before they resume their championship campaign with a trip to Somerset, who have replaced them at the foot of the table.
Troughton added: “Somerset are probably quite similar to us. They are reeling from a couple of defeats and it’s up for grabs. We know this league is like that. Any team on their day can beat any other team and you can’t afford to have bad sessions.”
Back with a bang: Ian Westwood celebrates reaching his century as Warwickshire battled to a draw