Lancashire clinch convincing eight-wicket victory over Warwickshire
Glen Chapple hailed a “fantastic performance” as Lancashire closed out an eight-wicket victory against Warwickshire today.
The win keeps the pressure on leaders Essex with the mouth-watering prospect of a meeting of the top two in the Specsavers County Championship at Emirates Old Trafford starting next Tuesday (10.30am start).
With four matches to play Essex have 177 points following their win over Somerset, with Lancashire in second place, 36 points behind, on 141.
Reflecting on the four days of the match Chapple said: “If you take a big first-innings lead here it will give you a chance.
“The pitch looked really good and was a bat-first pitch for anyone’s money. I thought we did really well to restrict them to 200 and then make such a big score.
“Obviously a big 200 plus partnership between Livi and Shiv went a long way towards that, but that’s an exceptional effort.”
“After the last game at Hampshire where we felt we were in control of that game and hoping to push on for victory, we then lost the last two days (to rain).
“Having some poor weather around here, we made an early declaration yesterday to guard against that happening again to some degree. Driving home last night in heavy rain with the threat of more today though was a bit nerve-wracking!
“Today has panned out well for us and it’s a good win.”
Rain arrived at 10.55am to put an early dent in Lancashire’s hopes but thankfully the elements relented to enable a start at 1.10pm with a minimum of 72 overs to be bowled.
In the end only 19 overs were required, although initially the Warwickshire batsmen responded purposefully resuming on 275-6 and quickly eliminating the overnight deficit of 29 runs.
Both Tim Ambrose and Jeetan Patel edged Kyle Jarvis past the slips for four as a flurry of quick runs in the first three overs brought the scores level with Ambrose reaching his century from 156 balls.
It was Ryan McLaren who made a much needed breakthrough when he trapped Patel lbw for 30 to leave Warwickshire on 315-7, just 11 runs ahead.
Kyle Jarvis followed that by bowling Wright for 11 before Matt Parkinson took the key wicket of Ambrose for 104.
Jarvis wrapped up the visitors innings for 344 by comprehensively bowling Ryan Sidebottom for 0, leaving Lancashire a victory target of 41 runs.
The Red Rose lost two wickets in reaching their target, Davies and Hameed both lbw to Barker for 11 and 21 respectively, with Hameed driving Patel over long-on for six and hitting three fours in his 24-ball stay at the crease.
Four byes ended the game at 3.15pm with Lancashire taking the maximum 24 points from the game to keep the pressure on leaders Essex ahead of next week’s game between the top two at Emirates Old Trafford starting on Tuesday (10.30am).
One of the many highlights of this match was the double century by Liam Livingstone, the first by a home grown Lancashire batsman since John Crawley in 1998, and Chapple was delighted with Livingstone’s contribution adding:
“It was quality innings.
“I don’t remember many chances. It was a well-paced knock with moments of outright power. That’s Livi for you. He’s got the ability to play measured innings and also when it’s in his slot, or when he takes a fancy to a bowler, he can put pressure back on the bowler easily.
“That’s twice this season he shown he can make big scores - and I’d encourage him to make that a characteristic of how he plays!
“Batting at number three is a difficult ‘ask’ of a young player in only his second season.
“It was always going to be a challenge for him. It’s one that everyone thinks he’s more than capable of doing.
“I think if you want to be a player at the highest level you need to be able to bat at number three in county cricket.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh