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Warwicks hold off Lancs last day charge

Warwicks hold off Lancs last day charge

Lancashire pushed Warwickshire all the way on the final day of this LV= County Championship match taking five wickets during a dramatic afternoon session before the visitors held out to ensure the game ended in a draw.

Taking all ten Warwickshire wickets and having time to chase a target looked to be a fairly difficult task on a good wicket at the start of the day and so it proved, but not before the Lancashire bowlers had caused some anxiety in the opposition ranks with that post-lunch burst.

Alex Davies was the one wicket to fall in the morning  after receiving a lifting delivery from Tom Bailey that flew high off his bat to Keaton Jennings at second slip.

But Dom Sibley and Rob Yates dropped anchor to steer the Bears safely to lunch on 85-1, the pair  posting their fifty partnership off 129 balls although Sibley need treatment after receiving a blow from a sharp Luke Wood delivery.

At that point a draw looked to be the most likely outcome but Lancashire were rewarded for their persistence with five wickets in the afternoon to bring this game alive.

Matt Parkinson produced a lovely flighted delivery that Sibley nicked to wicketkeeper Phil Salt after making a stubborn 41 and Lancashire sensed an opportunity.

Hassan Ali followed that breakthrough with a fast yorker to have Sam Hain plumb lbw for 6 while Parkinson spun one delivery out of the bowler's footmarks to Yates that missed off stump by a fraction.

The left hander had just completed his first half-century of the season from 148 balls but departed moments later for 55 when Wood swung a fast delivery into his stumps.

Parkinson (3-64) backed that up with two more quick wickets having Will Rhodes taken by Keaton Jennings at leg slip for 9 and bowling Michael Burgess for a duck to leave Warwickshire on 138-6 and only 92 ahead with 39 overs left to play.

But Red Rose hopes of forcing victory from that point were dashed by dogged resistance from Chris Benjamin (22 not out from 72 balls) and Danny Briggs (28 not out off 70 balls) who calmly added 46 runs either side of tea before the players shook hands on the draw at 5pm.

It was a great effort from a Lancashire attack that once again put in a great shift to try and force a result.

Lancashire received 14 points from the game and Warwickshire 13.

“We played well and worked very hard,” said Head Coach Glen Chapple.

“We put in a good effort, produced our skills with the ball, but we lost over a session and a half to weather so coming in today a result was unlikely but we still believed there was a chance.

“And I thought we pushed Warwickshire hard.”

Chapple appreciated the effort put in by the bowlers to try and pull of the win today.

“The bowlers worked tirelessly and put Warwickshire under pressure on a reasonably unresponsive pitch,” he said.

“We were pleased how we bowled on that pitch but I thought they were a bit negative. As soon as the new ball had gone they were bowling to defensive fields.

“I think they made their mind up early on they were going to try and restrict the scoring and stop us getting a lead. That was my assessment of it, and that’s fair enough (if that’s what they want to do).

“I thought we pushed it and tried to win the game.

“They only thing we would normally do better is to extend a bigger first innings lead. We built a good platform and would normally want to get a bigger first innings score. Having lost that time we were mindful that we needed to increase the scoring rate a little bit and in trying to that we came a bit unstuck.”

Chapple was delighted for Keaton Jennings on his return to the team.

“Keaton was playing well last year and got a bad injury,” he said. “But he recovered from that and took a part in pre-season and is playing well. He’s just had 3-4 weeks where he’s had to come back from a small calf strain so we were confident he was in good nick.

“It’s obviously difficult in your first game back but you need to get up and running. He’s one of our best players and it’s great to have him back.”

Looking ahead to the Roses Match which starts at Headingley on Thursday, Chapple said: I think everybody is available for selection.

“The most important thing is that the eleven we pick to play are going out to compete and try and win a game against Yorkshire.

“They are always a good team and it’s always a big game.

“The last time we were there we were in a good position and if we can put in the first days like the last time we were there, then we’ll be in good stead.”

Ken Grime
Photos: Luke Adams

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