Warwickshire began their 2012 programme with a 14-run victory over Nottinghamshire at a sunny but breezy Windward Cricket Club on the east coast of Barbados.
Put into bat, the Bears made 206 for 7 from 40 overs before dismissing their opponents for 192 with just seven balls of the innings remaining. An opening stand of 71 in 12.4 overs between Darren Maddy and Varun Chopra proved pivotal, with Maddy’s 45 being the top score of the day.
The Bears’ head of cricket Ashley Giles played down the victory but admitted he was pleased at how the day had gone. “For a first work-out, pre-season game – at an excellent facility – and in Barbados, you can’t ask for much more really – it’s been a good run-out for both sides”, he said.
This is the second year in a row that Warwickshire have used Windward as their base and Giles stressed his satisfaction towards the host club. “We were so well looked after last year and the facilities and wickets are so good, that we asked to come back here again. This offers everything that a professional could want away from home.”
Giles’s opposite number Mick Newell also took some positives from the contest. “It’s been an excellent day and a very good pitch”, he said. “We’ve been well looked after and it was a typical pre-season game where nobody has gone on to make fifty – those sort of things tend to happen at this stage of the season but I’m pleased overall with the day’s cricket.”
Apart from Maddy’s contribution, Chopra and Keith Barker each scored 34, with Harry Gurney take 2 for 38 on his first bowl for Notts, with Scott Elstone also claiming two wickets.
It was a good day all-round for Elstone, who scored 30 in the run-chase, backing up 32 from Paul Franks and 31 from Riki Wessels. Neil Carter (3 for 28) and Keith Barker (3 for 37) were the most successful Warwickshire bowlers.
The match marked the start of a hectic nine-day period in which six English county sides, plus Barbados and the Combined Campuses and Colleges, will be playing matches against each other.
Warwickshire next meet Hampshire in a two-day friendly at Windward on Monday March 19, while Notts’ next contest is against Yorkshire, on the same day, at Four Square CC.
Derbyshire and Leicestershire kick off their programmes with a 40-over contest at North Stars, also on March 19.