|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day one):|
|Warwickshire 275-8: Norwell 58*, Hain 47; Dunn 3-59|
|Surrey: Yet to bat|
|Warwickshire (2 pts), Surrey (2 pts)|
Warwickshire fast bowlers Liam Norwell and Henry Brookes transformed the first day at Edgbaston as they shared an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 89 to stun reigning county champions Surrey.
After slumping to 186-8 despite gritty knocks from Sam Hain (47), Will Rhodes (39) and Adam Hose (38), the Bears were set to go without batting points again.
Instead, Norwell slammed 58 and Brookes made 35 as Surrey’s attack wilted.
The pair both belted some fine shots to reach the close unparted on 275-8.
That earned two batting points, plus the prospect of a potential third in the morning, which would double the Bears’ previous haul for the season.
Prior to that, on a weather-affected day which brought two separate short breaks in play, injury-hit Surrey’s bowlers had dominated, including three victims for recalled fast bowler Matt Dunn.
After being put in to bat, a painstaking first half-century stand of the season for Bears openers Dom Sibley and Rhodes was ended by veteran spinner Gareth Batty, who removed both in successive overs just before lunch.
But after Dunn had seemingly put Surrey right in control, Norwell, on his home debut, and Brookes transformed the contest in the final hour.
They started to go for their shots when Dean Elgar came on for an over of spin just before the new ball was due – and 17 came from it, capped by two sixes in three balls from Brookes.
But they then kept up the attack, twice taking 16 off an over from South Africa paceman Morne Morkel, thanks to seven boundaries off in the space of 11 deliveries off him from the free-spirited Norwell.
Warwickshire all-rounder Liam Norwell told BBC WM:
“Henry and I are both naturally quite attacking players so we just played out natural game and played our shots and luckily it came off.
“It was a mixture of good shots and a bit of luck. I rode my luck at times but it was just good to be out in the middle with Henry. He is a lot of fun to bat with.
“The lads up top did the hard graft. Now we are in a pretty strong position and we have just got to focus in the morning and try to get up to 300 for that third batting point.”
Surrey fast bowler Matt Dunn told BBC Radio London:
“All day, the bowlers worked so hard together. We knew it was going to be tough but everyone bowled in partnerships and bowled for each other.
“It was a shame that it just got away from us a little bit at the end because we were in a great position but I think we would have taken this at the start of the day.
“It is great to be back in the team. I am so proud to wear the Surrey badge. It is everything to me. It is nice to get out there again and perform.”
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