Bears pull away from rivals
Division One leaders overhaul target of 260
Last Updated: 10/08/12 6:03pm
Ian Westwood: Warwickshire opener's 83 set tone for successful run chase
Warwickshire went clear at the top of the Division One table with a seven-wicket victory over struggling Worcestershire at Edgbaston.
Opening batsman Ian Westwood made 83 as the Bears reached their target of 260 by mid-afternoon on day three.
It was the home side's first win in six games but was a bitter blow for bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire, who had taken a first-innings lead of 114.
Warwickshire, who had started day three with their second innings on 79-0, continued from where they left off the previous evening.
One bright spot for the visitors was the performance of Chris Russell.
The 23-year-old seamer removed both openers - Varun Chopra and Westwood - and returned match figures of 6-117 on his Championship debut.
Warwickshire's 19-point haul from the match leaves them 21 points clear of second-place Nottinghamshire, who drew with Somerset after most of the first two days at Taunton were lost to the weather.
Warwickshire closed day two on 79 without loss in pursuit of 260 after their bowlers got them back in contention against Worcestershire at Edgbaston.
Openers Varun Chopra, unbeaten with 46, and Ian Westwood (32 not out) gave the title-chasing Bears the perfect start in their run-chase in the final session of a see-saw second day.
They had earlier been dismissed for just 132 the first time around, seamer Chris Russell doing the majority of the damage with 4-43.
Rikki Clarke made a defiant 61 that included 10 fours but it wasn't enough to prevent the Pears from claiming a 114-run advantage after both teams had batted once.
Yet their position of strength disappeared in 46.5 overs, the exact amount it took the home side to skittle them for a meagre 145.
The visitors were at one stage going nicely at 108-4 but the seam-spin combination of Keith Barker (3-21) and Jeetan Patel (4-42) left Warwickshire with a real chance at claiming victory.
Phil Hughes scored his first Championship century for Worcestershire as the visitors took control against Warwickshire on day one at Edgbaston.
After five games without a win, the Division One leaders would have hoped for an easier ride against their relegation-threatened local rivals, but left-hander Hughes resisted all their efforts in making an unbeaten 135 in a total of 246.
Worse followed for Warwickshire when Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood were lbw within eight balls from Alan Richardson and the pacey newcomer Chris Russell.
Richardson also had William Porterfield taken in the slips before the hosts closed on 19-3.
Earlier, Hughes became the first Worcestershire player to carry his bat since Stephen Moore in this fixture in 2008 but they missed out on a second batting point when their last five wickets fell for seven runs.
The 23-year-old Australian brilliantly transferred his prolific one-day form into the championship with a cascade of strokes sweeping him to his 18th first-class century. In a five-hour innings he hit 19 fours and a six from 207 balls.
Jeetan Patel was the pick of the Warwickshire bowlers with 4-72 as he and Boyd Rankin (2-44) quickly polished off the tail.