Ryan Sidebottom’s fairytale return to first class cricket was completed in the early hours of yesterday morning Australian time.
The former Karramomus seamer cleaned up the Middlesex tail for a second time on debut for Warwickshire, taking two of the final three wickets to fall on day three.
Sidebottom’s match figures of 6-70, while beating all other bowlers in the game, also helped his new County Championship division one team recover from being bowled out for just 126 in the first innings of the contest to land a whopping 190-run upset win at Lord’s.
The turnaround was made even more remarkable by the fact that it was Warwickshire’s first win of the season from nine attempts, and lifted the side out of last position on the ladder.
Batting at number 11 in both innings, Sidebottom, 27, only added five runs from 13 balls faced during the match, but it was always going to be with ball in hand where the star would do the most damage.
His 4-29 in the first innings was not bettered for the remainder of the clash, and provided the axis for the match to turn on by kick-starting a daring comeback.
It was just Sidebottom’s second first class match, with the first coming more than four years ago for Victoria, but the right-arm speedster would be confident of retaining his spot and helping his new side avoid relegation after both captain and coach praised his efforts following the game.
Former England Test star Ian Bell hinted the Bears would continue along their line of selection in the coming weeks.
‘‘We have a bit of a new-look team now and there’s a new energy in the dressing room. Matt Lamb, Ryan Sidebottom, Andy Umeed and Dom Sibley all played their part in this win and we have some proper players who have come in and can help to take this team forward,’’ Warwickshire’s captain told ECB Reporters Network.
‘‘We are trying to shape a side not necessarily for this season, but for the future, but there is still no reason we can’t start again from now.’’
Meanwhile, Bears coach Jim Troughton was also impressed with Sidebottom and fellow debutant Dom Sibley.
‘‘We made a little presentation to the two guys after the game,’’ he said.
‘‘They have fitted in brilliantly and it really was the stuff of dreams for Ryan, but he bowled very well and fully deserved his wickets.’’