Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire: Alex Hales puts Notts in charge

Alex Hales
Hales has scored 414 runs in his last four first-class innings
LV= County Championship Division One, Edgbaston
Close, day one: Nottinghamshire 397-7 v Warwickshire
Warwickshire 2 pts, Nottinghamshire 4 pts
Match scorecard

Alex Hales fell one short of his highest first-class score as Nottinghamshire enjoyed a fine opening day against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The 25-year-old smashed 183 off 224 balls before he was dismissed by Boyd Rankin (3-40) in the penultimate over as the visitors raced to 397-7.

Opener Phil Jaques hit a rapid 77 and Riki Wessels made 53 as Notts scored their runs at more than four an over.

But the late wickets of Hales and Peter Siddle gave the hosts a needed lift.

After being asked to bat by home captain Varun Chopra, Notts eased to 55 without loss before Rikki Clarke removed Steven Mullaney for 21.

His dismissal brought Hales to the crease and he continued the assault on the Warwickshire bowlers with Jaques as they put on 91 at more than five runs an over, before the Australian fell to the medium pace of the returning Jonathan Trott with the penultimate ball of the morning session.

England batsman Trott is playing only his second County Championship match of 2014 and his first since April, having taken a break from the game following a recurrence of anxiety issues which forced him to leave the Ashes tour of Australia last November.

After lunch, the runs continued to flow for Notts as James Taylor tucked into the toiling home attack but England paceman Rankin eventually provided a rare bright spot as he tempted Taylor (36) and Samit Patel to edge behind in consecutive overs.

Hales continued to motor at the other end as he reached his century off 134 balls and shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 119 with the in-form Wessels before he chopped Keith Barker into the hands of William Porterfield at gully.

Hales looked set to surpass his best first-class score of 184 but with just 10 balls left in the day, Rankin returned to trap him in front and Chris Wright's dismissal of Siddle in the next over signalled the close of play.

BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:

"An innings of extraordinary power and timing by Alex Hales has nudged Notts to within three runs of securing maximum batting points yet again.

"His love affair with Edgbaston is becoming quite an annual treat, this his third ton on the ground - having only hit five elsewhere in the Championship.

"The strong supporting cast, led this time by Jaques and Wessels, made it another memorable day and again, it's now over to the bowlers."

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