Sidebottom stars in county debut

Victorian fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom had a dream debut for Warwickshire at Lord's on Sunday

Victorian fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom has made a big impact in his County Championship debut, taking four wickets on day one of Warwickshire’s clash with Middlesex.

On a day that saw 20 wickets fall at Lord’s, Sidebottom cleaned up the Middlesex tail as he snared 4-29.

The 27-year-old, who is the older brother of Australian Rules footballer Steele, signed a deal with Warwickshire last week for the remainder of the county season.

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Sidebottom, who holds a United Kingdom passport, had been playing for Birmingham and District Premier League side Berkswell.

But it was Middlesex who took a first-innings lead on Sunday, bowled out for 161 in reply to Warwickshire’s 126.

Batting first, the Bears were dismissed inside the first two sessions, with England Test squad member Steven Finn picking up 4-53 as Jonathan Trott (18) and Ian Bell (14) fell cheaply.

Middlesex then suffered their own struggles with the bat, slumping to 6-59 after early strikes from Chris Woakes, before a half-century from captain James Franklin helped the hosts edge out a first-innings lead.

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When Sidebottom’s signing was announced last week, Warwickshire Sports Director Ashley Giles described the Victorian as “a very impressive character”.

“We heard good things about Ryan soon after he arrived at Berkswell, so were naturally keen to take a closer look at his bowling and see how he fits into our dressing room,” Giles said.

“He’s a very impressive character and the volume of wickets that he has taken, in the Second XI and Birmingham League, highlights his ability.

“He is a valuable addition to our fast-bowling ranks as we enter a very important final two months of the season.”

 Sidebottom, whose sole Sheffield Shield appearance for Victoria came in March 2013, could take on his more famous namesake, the former England Test paceman, when Warwickshire meet Yorkshire next month.

In other Division One county action, a five-wicket haul from Pakistan quick Mohammad Amir saw Essex skittle Yorkshire for just 113.

Amir's five for Essex skittles Yorkshire

The left-arm quick took 5-18, with Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth (68) providing the only resistance.

An unbeaten 61 from captain Ryan ten Doeschate then helped Essex to 8-188 in reply.

In Southampton, Hampshire dominated day one of their clash with Lancashire, bowling the visitors out for 149 as spinner Mason Crane picked up 3-27.

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Hampshire reached 5-147 in reply at stumps, thanks to a 40 from James Vince while Australia’s George Bailey was dismissed for 22.

In Division Two, a 234-run opening stand from Tom Latham (124) and Cameron Steel (145) saw Durham score 4-324 on the first day of their clash with Leicestershire.