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Dom Sibley back in the runs as he hits Warwickshire century

Dominic Sibley made his first century since being dropped by England last summer but Tom Bailey and Hassan Ali hit back with three late wickets to leave the opening day of Warwickshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford evenly poised.

Dom Sibley
Dom Sibley

Having won the toss and opted to bat first on what looks a very good pitch, the visitors ended the day on 273-7 with Sibley unbeaten on 118 after over six hours’ unremitting effort.

And the vast majority of the credit for the Bears’ total should plainly go to the opener, who chose not to tour with England Lions in Australia before Christmas, instead preferring to stay in this country and work hard on his game with Tony Frost, Warwickshire’s batting coach.

The benefits of that approach were shown in Sibley’s more compact and better balanced technique as he coped very capably with a Lancashire attack lacking both James Anderson and Saqib Mahmood. His chanceless 227-ball century, which he reached with a single off George Balderson, took him exactly five hours to complete.

It is his first century in a red-ball match since he made 120 against the West Indies, also at Old Trafford, in July 2020’s Covid Test. Much has changed for Sibley since that match.

Sibley shared a third-wicket stand of 82 with Sam Hain (38) and 99 for the fifth-wicket with Chris Benjamin (47).

However, Dane Vilas’s very respectable attack made regular breakthroughs, with Tom Bailey ending the day with figures of 3-50 and Matt Parkinson 2-58.

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