|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston|
|Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire, day one|
|Nottinghamshire 125-6: Libby 59; Rankin 3-28|
|Warwickshire: Yet to bat|
|Warwickshire 2 pts, Nottinghamshire 0 pts|
Warwickshire had the better of a rain-hit opening day against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston as Boyd Rankin claimed centre stage in a mid-afternoon burst.
After Keith Barker’s breakthrough at 76-2, Ireland and England international Rankin then took three wickets in 24 balls to leave Notts on 125-6.
The whole of the evening session was lost when the rain arrived at tea.
Notts’ only bright spot was opener Jake Libby, who lasted over three hours for a determinedly gritty 59.
Both teams made one change from their last Championship match, in the pace bowling department, the Bears bringing in Mark Adair for only his second Championship game in place of Oliver Hannon-Dalby, while Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher replaced Harry Gurney (bruised heel).
After choosing to bat, Notts moved slowly in the morning session as it swung in humid conditions, reaching 71-2 at lunch from 32 overs.
The impressively economical Rikki Clarke broke through in the ninth over when he hit Steve Mullaney’s off-stump before Michael Lumb, having made just 10 in 62 minutes, misread spinner Jeetan Patel’s arm-ball to be trapped LBW.
After facing 117 balls to bat through the session for 37, Libby speeded up a little after lunch. But, after Brendan Taylor lofted a catch to long leg, Riki Wessels edged a brute of a ball from Rankin to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
Then, after seeing Samit Patel also get caught behind, Libby, who started this season on loan with Northamptonshire, became the third ‘c Ambrose b Rankin’ dismissal to earn the Irishman impressive figures of 3-25 from his 14 overs.
Warwickshire fast bowler Boyd Rankin told BBC WM:
“I’m pleased with how I bowled. I’ve been feeling pretty good in the last few weeks. I bowled pretty well against Lancashire but just didn’t get wickets.
“We kept them to two runs per over pretty much all the whole time. All the guys bowled well but it was just my day to take a few wickets.
“The pitch is quite slow and it’s not really doing much off the deck. It is a little bit tacky but hopefully it will flatten out a bit for when we come to bat.”
Notts head coach Mick Newell told BBC Radio Nottingham:
“I thought there’d be a bit more pace in the pitch. It was quite difficult to score off the medium quick bowlers, then Boyd Rankin stepped it up a little bit.
“He was quicker than everybody else. He bowled a very good spell in the middle of the afternoon which put under some serious pressure.
“Jake Libby batted very well. He started very well for Northants. Now this is a step up coming into Division One and facing a high-quality attack like Warwickshire. It’s a big challenge for him. He’s made some 20s and 30s and will be pleased to have made a fifty. Now he’ll be looking to kick on again.”