CricInfo Championship: Derbyshire v Warwickshire at Derby, 12-15 Sep 2001
Nigel Gardner
CricInfo.com

: Warwickshire move in front, Warwickshire promotion hopes high, Stumps - Day 3,
Live Reports from previous days


WARWICKSHIRE IN SIGHT OF PROMOTION

Warwickshire are only five wickets away from clinching promotion to Division One of the championship after they reduced Derbyshire to 91-5 at the close of the third day.

Centuries from Nick Knight and Ian Bell allowed Warwickshire to declare on 400-6 leaving Derbyshire to score 294 to avoid an innings defeat but their batting failed yet again.

They go into the fourth day still 203 runs behind with all the recognised batsmen gone and only heavy rain will deny Warwickshire the victory they need to secure a place in the top three.

The Bears have dominated this game from the start and Derbyshire have done little to halt their advance towards promotion.

Knight and Bell's stand of 245 for the fourth wicket was followed by a partnership of 73 in eight overs between Dougie Brown and Neil Smith to take their side to maximum batting points.

That made sure they finished above Gloucestershire and the prospect of Derbyshire denying them victory faded once Steve Stubbings was lbw to Charlie Dagnall for the second time in the game.

Dougie Brown then pinned Mathew Dowman lbw and when Michael Di Venuto drove Brown to mid off, Warwickshire were starting to celebrate.

Dagnall yorked Chris Bassano and although bad light held up play for 55 minutes, Brown had Steve Selwood lbw for nine just before the close.



WARWICKSHIRE CLOSE IN ON PROMOTION AT DERBY

Centuries from Nick Knight and Ian Bell took Warwickshire a step closer to Division One cricket next season as they built up a formidable lead over Derbyshire.

The pair added 245 in only 54 overs for the fourth wicket and Duggie Brown struck a rapid half-century before Warwickshire declared on 400-6, a lead of 294.

With Gloucestershire losing to Sussex, Warwickshire will go up unless Middlesex beat Worcestershire and they fail to win at Derby.

That is a highly unlikely scenario given Derbyshire's limp first innings performance, and it seems only prolonged rain can deny Warwickshire now.

Knight and Bell batted superbly in the morning, when they added 137 runs, and the rate increased after lunch - although Bell was dropped at second slip on 74.

Knight was first to his hundred, which came off 177 balls, and Bell reached his century with a delicate late cut for two.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a prolific end to the season and has now scored nearly 600 runs in six matches.

The stand ended when Knight was caught behind driving at Tom Lungley for 124, and Bell also fell going for an attacking stroke when he had made 135.

Trevor Penney missed out, but Brown hammered 50 from only 40 balls as he and Neil Smith secured maximum batting points.



WARWICKSHIRE MOVE OUT IN FRONT

Nick Knight and Ian Bell made up for lost time by building a substantial lead for Warwickshire on the third morning at Derby.

The fourth wicket pair took the Derbyshire attack apart and at lunch, Warwickshire were 206-3, a lead of 100.

Rain had disrupted the first two days so Warwickshire badly needed better weather to press home their promotion bid and they arrived at Derby to find the County Ground bathed in sunshine.

After play was suspended at 11am to observe a three minutes silence in memory of those who died in the terrorist attacks on America, Knight and Bell began to score freely with the latter batting particularly well.

The 19-year-old drove and pulled Graeme Welch for consecutive boundaries and when left arm spinner Lian Wharton came on, Bell cut him for successive fours.

Wharton was taken out of the attack after two overs which cost 22, but no one could stem the flow of runs and Bell reached an excellent 50 by driving Tom Lungley past extra cover for his 10th four.

Knight was less fluent but after he reached 50 from 114 balls, he drove off-spinner Nathan Dumelow for six to bring up the 200 and the morning session ended with Warwickshire scoring 137 from less than 32 overs.

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Date-stamped : 14 Sep2001 - 22:48