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    Libby scored a century, but the weather prevented Worcestershire from securing victory
Libby scored a century, but the weather prevented Worcestershire from securing victory
Jake Libby brought up a second-innings hundred. Source: Getty Images

Libby scored a century, but the weather prevented Worcestershire from securing victory

Warwickshire and Worcestershire began their Vitality County Championship season with a draw due to bad weather.

The game was heading towards an intriguing finish at Edgbaston, but unfortunately, Worcestershire were unable to press for victory on their return to Division One. A wet outfield prevented play before lunch on the final day. Following the loss of the previous day's session, Brett D'Oliveira's team was unable to capitalise on the strong position they had built, largely due to the time lost.

Kashif Ali's two superb centuries had contributed to their overnight score of 237 for 2, giving them a lead of 264, which they extended to 295 for 3 in the limited play on the final day. Jake Libby scored his 17th first-class century, advancing to 101 not out, before another downpour ended the match.

Warwickshire's bowling attack, which is expected to improve after the last outing according to head coach Mark Robinson, only managed to take one more wicket. Olly Hannon-Dalby caught an instinctive return catch from a straight drive by Rob Jones. Unfortunately, the other bowlers did not have much success, especially left-arm spinner Danny Briggs who delivered seven leg-side wides.

With the match ending in a stalemate, Libby continued to his ton while Adam Hose spent some time in the middle of his former home ground, restraining his usual attacking game to collect an unbeaten 17 in over an hour.

Worcestershire may have been frustrated at being denied an opportunity to record their first Championship win at Edgbaston since 1993, but they can take satisfaction in having acquitted themselves extremely well on their return to Division One.

With both bat and ball, they were the superior team. Kashif's first two first-class centuries, 110 and 133, shone in a match played mostly under a continuous grey sky. Meanwhile, the debutants Nathan Smith and Jason Holder showed potential in the seam attack.

On Friday, Worcestershire will face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge with confidence. Warwickshire will aim to improve against Durham at Edgbaston. They were missing Sam Hain (due to personal reasons) and Liam Norwell (due to injury) during this match, which affected their bowling and batting.

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