Rain and snow strike Edgbaston to leave Warwickshire and Yorkshire hurtling towards a draw

Frustratingly, the weather has been the major protagonist in the much anticipated clash between highly-fancied Warwickshire and back-to-back Division One champions Yorkshire.

It was the case again on Day Three where a Varun Chopra century looks to be in vain as the elements combined to send this game firmly on the road to a stalemate.

The Yorkshire first innings spanned three days thanks to the frequent and oh so irritating breaks for rain, snow, hail, sleet or a combination of the above. Chris Woakes struck early doors to remove Ryan Sidebottom and dismiss Yorkshire for 369.

From there, the day belonged to the Warwickshire batsmen as a century stand between Chopra and Ian Bell put the hosts in a commanding position, chasing down Yorkshire’s total.

But the innings was stunted by trips back to the pavilion. Snow, yes snow in April, forced an early lunch before the day was brought to a premature end just after tea when the Great British weather struck again with Warwickshire 205-2, trailing Yorkshire by 174 runs.

The chance of a victory for either side is slim to none, with batting and bowling points all that appears to be up for grabs on day four in Birmingham.

Yorkshire resumed day three on 368-9 and the last pair added 11 runs before Sidebottom was caught in the slips off the bowling of Woakes.

In this period where players are jostling to put themselves in the England shake-up for the first Test squad of the summer, Woakes will have done his hopes no harm at all with first innings figures of 4-87 including a brilliant dismissal of in-form Jonny Bairstow.

The visitors will have been pleased to reach such a substantial total having been 85-4 and were thankful for contributions all the way down the order, with Gary Ballance, Jack Leaning, Adil Rashid and Steven Patterson all racking up half-centuries.

And so it was over to Warwickshire to provide their response. They didn’t get off to a great start when Ian Westwood had his stumps rearranged by Jack Brooks in the sixth over to leave the Bears at 18-1.

But Chopra and Bell showed their class to notch up a century stand for the third wicket.

When that early lunch was taken, the pair had progressed the score to 54-1 and proceeded to dominate the afternoon session. Remarkably, both reached their 50s off 107 deliveries, Chopra the first to get there, and both struck seven boundaries in doing so.

But Bell, looking for his second century of the fledgling season, fell to a combination of England teammates as he was caught at slip by Adam Lyth off the bowling of Adil Rashid for a well made 59.

Jonathan Trott, another in-form batsman, joined Chopra in the middle and started fluently and confidently. At tea, Trott had reached 38 while Chopra faced an agonising 20 minutes with his total lingering on 99*.

He made sure the nervous wait didn’t extend for long, bringing up his 169-ball century with the first ball after the resumption.

But just a couple of overs later the day would be cut short as the weather rolled in again and meant that there would be no return for the players on day three.

Warwickshire had batted beautifully to reach 205-2 and put them in a great position to overtake Yorkshire’s first innings lead.

Both will return tomorrow for the final day in all likelihood competing for batting and bowling points, with the Great British summer responsible for spoiling what could have been a terrific clash between these two well-fancied Division One contenders.


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