Lancashire and Warwickshire battle out tough draw
Lancashire and Warwickshire fought out a stalemate on the final day of this LV= County Championship match with the teams bumping fists on a draw at 4.50pm.
By then Warwickshire had progressed slowly to be 239-6 and ahead by 269 runs as the game meandered to its conclusion.
The Red Rose bowlers endured another tough day in the field with Matt Parkinson achieving the remarkable feat of bowling unchanged the entire day sending down 40 overs from the Brian Statham End and finishing with 4-94 from a total of 45 overs-the most he has bowled in an innings. He surely deserved greater reward.
Both teams take 12 points from the game and occupy the top two spots in the Division One table following today’s results with Warwickshire top on 33 points with Lancashire 2nd on 28.5 points and Notts 3rd on 28 points.
Warwickshire resumed their second innings on 52-1 leading by 82 runs at the start of the day and Red Rose hopes of forcing a result received an early boost when Parkinson spun the ball past Chris Benjamin's attempted sweep to trap the batsman lbw for 42.
Parkinson produced an outstanding 15-over spell of 1-34 in the morning session that included a series of big turning deliveries which on another day would surely have produced further victims other than that of Benjamin.
The nearest Lancashire came to adding to their tally was when the batsmen set off for an ill-advised single with Sam Hain well short of his ground if the throw from mid-wicket had hit the stumps.
Having reached lunch on 115-2, Dom Sibley went to his half-century and posted the 50 partnership with a nicely timed drive for four off Parkinson early in the afternoon.
But the leg spinner hit back, bowling Sibley around his legs for 57 with a sharply turning delivery to leave Warwickshire on 129-3.
Then first innings centurion Sam Hain, having made 48, smashed a Liam Livingstone full toss straight to sub fielder Richard Gleeson at short extra cover and Will Rhodes departed for 7 when edging a firm drive that was taken in stunning fashion at slip by Luke Wells diving low to his left to give Parkinson a third wicket.
Matthew Lamb escaped with a couple of edges off the spinners to make it through to the close unbeaten on 36 with Warwickshire 201-5 at tea with the draw more or less sealed.
There was still time for a wicket to fall from a full toss, Michael Burgess pulling Parkinson to Josh Bohannon at mid-wicket.
But a result never really looked likely as the afternoon wore on.
Lancashire now travel to Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire in the Championship starting on Sunday 5 September at 10.30am.
“You can’t question the effort we put in,” said Head Coach Glen Chapple. “I think we played really well on day two. The first day we were good but just not quite as good as we needed to be on that pitch.
“A few more partnerships and we could have gone past Warwicks and put them under real pressure.”
“Our determination to stay in the game and try and force a result was great to see. The lads worked so hard and I’m happy with the team’s performance just disappointed we couldn’t get in a slightly stronger position.”
The bowlers on both sides put in some hard yards this week and Chapple said of the pitch: “It was a very unresponsive at the back end of a season where the square has had a lot of hammer.
“It had been used earlier this season and we weren’t able to get enough pace back into it, which is understandable.
“It was very difficult to force a result on a surface like that.”
And Chapple was full of praise for Josh Bohannon.
“I’ve got to mention Josh’s innings,” he said. “It was fantastic and he had a superb partnership with Dane. I thought 170 was a great effort from him.
“His red-ball career is going from strength to strength. He’s got a great technique and is able to put the bad ball away. He’s prepared to build an innings and bat time. He’s got all the attributes and just needs to keep going.”
Chapple also acknowledged Matt Parkinson’s marathon bowling spell today adding:
“It was a great effort from Matt. He just wants to bowl and keep getting better. I thought he bowled well today.
“Warwicks were determined to see him off and maybe it didn’t quite go his way. A couple of early wickets and the pressure would have really been on them.”
It’s second verses third in the Championship next week and Chapple said:
“Notts are a good side and apart from losing two games to Warwickshire they’ve had a really good campaign.
“We are going to have to be at our best if we are to turn them over.
“We’re in a good position going into a big game next week.”
Photos: Barry Mitchell