Watch Ian and you’ll be al­right!

Paul Bolton sees Ian West­wood dig War­wick­shire out of an early sea­son hole

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

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.”

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Back with a bang: Ian West­wood cel­e­brates reach­ing his cen­tury as War­wick­shire bat­tled to a draw

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