Lancashire dominate Day One at Edbgaston
Lancashire, led by Tom Bailey’s four-for, enjoyed a dominant opening day against Warwickshire at Edgbaston as both sides battle to preserve their top-flight future in the Specsavers County Championship.
The Red Rose bowled the Bears out for 219 inside 85 overs after tea having earlier opted against the toss and bowled first, with Jordan Clark also taking three wickets.
The visitors went into this final round clash 14 points clear of second-bottom Hampshire and six points clear of Warwickshire.
And if Hampshire, who dominated the opening day of their clash with Durham at the Ageas Bowl by reaching 369-6, win that match, then the loser of this one goes down.
If this match finishes in a draw, which would seem unlikely at this stage given the amount of time remaining, the Red Rose are safe.
Haseeb Hameed was dropped on one by Rikki Clarke at second slip off Keith Barker as Lancashire closed on 14-0 from nine overs.
Bailey finished with 4-52 from 19.4 overs and said: "That was our goal this morning when we decided not to toss up, and we're pretty pleased with it.
"It was a tough nine overs we had to face before close with a dropped catch. We were pretty fortunate there, but it's a good day.
”In the last two games, we've gone into day one bowling, and we've wanted to bowl them out in the day but haven't. So it was about time we did it.
"We just kept our plans pretty simple and told ourselves to bowl top of off-stump. If we do that on that sort of pitch, things will come. Thankfully, they did.
"If we lose and Hampshire win, we're down, so that's always in the back of your mind. But you've just got to stick to your plans.
"Our goal now is to bat big and bat once.”
Lancashire took three wickets in each of the first two sessions before wrapping up the innings shortly before close. Clark claimed 3-20 from nine overs.
The morning and afternoon sessions were almost identical in terms of the runs and wickets accrued, with Warwickshire reaching 83-3 at lunch and then 165-6 at tea.
There was swing and seam on offer for the bowlers as well as some variable bounce, with Ashley Giles and Steven Croft opting to select both spinners Simon Kerrigan and Arron Lilley.
Bailey picked up the first two wickets to fall this morning.
He gave Lancashire the ideal start by trapping Ian Westwood lbw with an in-swinger just four balls into the match.
0-1 became 43-2 after 13 overs when he had Alex Mellor caught at first slip by Liam Livingstone.
The hosts threatened a fightback through their ex-England pair Jonathan Trott and captain Ian Bell, who took the score to 80-2 before the former was caught behind off Clark for 25 in the 29th over - the penultimate of the morning.
Wickets continued to tumble after lunch, with Bell lbw to a Kyle Jarvis nip-backer for 37 in the 43rd over as the score slipped to 105-4.
And it was 105-5 in the 44th when Tim Ambrose was run out by a superb direct hit at the striker’s end by Jarvis as he ran around from mid-off towards cover to collect a Hain drive.
Like Trott and Bell, Hain and Clarke shared 37 as they tried to rebuild.
But Clark, in his first over back into the attack, trapped Clarke lbw with one that the batsman tried to pull only for it to keep lower than expected.
That left the score at 142-6 in the 59th.
Hain hit Clark for three fours in four balls, two cover drives and an edge to third-man in the 63rd over as he moved to 46.
Hain reached his fifty off 109 balls in the early stages of the evening as Warwickshire enjoyed their best period of the day.
He and Barker shared 40, the highest partnership, before Hain fell lbw playing to leg against Luke Procter, leaving the score at 182-7 in the 72nd.
Clark picked up his third wicket in the next over when Barker was bowled - 190-8.
Jeetan Patel and Chris Wright ensured Warwickshire claimed a batting bonus point for passing 200 before Wright was caught behind pulling at Bailey, now bowling with the new ball, in the 83rd over as the score slipped to 214
Patel then holed out to Hameed at deep cover in the 85th over.