Hales bravely holds off Bears
Read makes 95 in record fifth-wicket stand for visitors
Last Updated: 31/08/12 6:00pm
Alex Hales hit an unbeaten century at Edgbaston for a second year in a row as Nottinghamshire secured a draw against title-chasing Warwickshire.
England Twenty20 opener Hales finished up with 155 not out, his knock including 19 fours and a solitary six, as the visitors recovered from 69-4 to reach 356-8 in their first innings.
Nottinghamshire skipper Chris Read eventually declared having made 95 in a record partnership of 222 - the best for the fifth wicket by the county against Warwickshire. Astonishingly, no other batsman made more than 12.
Spinner Ian Blackwell eventually broke the stand when he had Read stumped by Tim Ambrose, though it was seamer Chris Wright who was the pick of the Warwickshire attack with 4-107.
With a first-innings advantage of 148, the Bears reached 86-3 by the time the two teams shook hands at 4.50pm.
Despite the draw, Warwickshire remain in pole position to be crowned champions. They lead the way by 22 points from Sussex and could even clinch the title away at basement dwellers Worcestershire next week.
Tim Ambrose's first century in the County Championship for three years moved Warwickshire closer to the Division One title and seriously damaged Nottinghamshire's challenge at Edgbaston.
The leaders are now 31 points ahead of their Trent Bridge rivals after declaring at 504-6 and then taking for wickets for 188, although they were held up late in the day by fifties from Alex Hales and Chris Read.
When bad light chalked off the last 10.2 overs - with the visitors still 316 behind - Hales had reached 80 not out and Read, ever the man for a crisis, was on 54 in a partnership worth 119.
With a full day lost on Wednesday, Warwickshire chose to press for an innings victory but only 153 overs were left in the match when Nottinghamshire were set to make 355 to avoid the follow-on.
New-ball pair Chris Wright and Keith Barker made a start with neat catches removing Riki Wessels (10) at square leg and Michael Lumb (12) at first slip.
England batsman James Taylor quickly fell to Wright, treading on his stumps as he played back defensively, and teenager Tom Milnes took a wicket with his fourth delivery when Ian Porterfield brilliantly held a low chance from Adam Voges at gully.
The early troubles were in sharp contrast to the home side's dash to add 206 for the loss of one wicket in 37 overs. While Ambrose knitted things together with an unbeaten 151 in nearly five hours, former Essex seamer Wright (53) and loan signing Ian Blackwell (69 not out) registered their first half-centuries for the county.
The second day of the match between County Championship title contenders Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled at Edgbaston.
The washout - the 12th full day lost on the ground since June - was more damaging to Nottinghamshire, the chasing team in third place and desperate for a win to close the gap on Warwickshire, the leaders.
The home side probably shaded the first day in making 298 for five and it would now take a massive effort for Nottinghamshire to force a favourable result.
The rain set in early this morning and by 9.30am large areas of surface water covered the outfield.
A brief lull allowed the ground staff to begin mopping up but the covers were soon back on and within an hour the outfield in front of the Eric Hollies Stand resembled a lake.
Umpires Nick Cook and Trevor Jesty did not need to make a formal inspection before calling off the day's play at 1.15pm.
Ian Westwood led Warwickshire's drive for batting points and Paul Franks battled to keep Nottinghamshire in contention as the title challengers clashed at Edgbaston.
Westwood made an impressive 81 and Franks took three wickets in an innings for the first time in 14 months, but a stand of 102 by Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke protected Warwickshire's position at top of Division One as they closed on 298-5.
Without a win since May, Nottinghamshire have reached the make-or-break point in their bid to regain the crown they won two years ago.
Westwood, though, is in the form of his life with two centuries and now a second score in the 80s while scoring 395 runs in six championship knocks this month.
Captains past and present then put Warwickshire back on course as Westwood and Jim Troughton added 83 in 22 overs until Franks removed the two left handers in the space of nine deliveries.
Troughton (40) got a thin edge to Chris Read and an inswinger trapped Westwood after he had hit 11 fours from 164 balls.