Bears back on top

Draw enough for Warwickshire to return to top spot

Last updated: 19th May 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Varun Chopra Warwickshire

Varun Chopra: Struck second century of the season on opening day against Lancashire

Rikki Clarke

Rikki Clarke: an unbeaten 123

Paul Horton Lancashire

Paul Horton: Scored an unbeaten 56 on day three at Edgbaston

Paul Horton Lancashire

Paul Horton: Finished day four unbeaten at Edgbaston on 137

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Warwickshire returned to the top of the LV= County Championship table despite Paul Horton steering champions Lancashire to a draw at Edgbaston.

Horton batted through a rain-shortened final day, and for seven and a half hours in all, for his 137 not out to save Lancashire from their fourth defeat in six matches as Warwickshire's bowlers toiled in vain on a flat pitch.

It was a solid rather than spectacular innings from Horton, who scored only nine runs in 75 minutes before lunch, but it was exactly what Lancashire needed to restore some confidence after a series of batting failures this season.

Overnight rain and morning drizzle, which delayed the start for 45 minutes, helped Lancashire and Horton receive valuable support from Stephen Croft (21), Luke Procter (34) and Gareth Cross (75 not out) to restrict Warwickshire to two wickets on the final day.

It required a low one handed catch by Rikki Clarke at second slip off Chris Wright to account for Croft, who stood his ground in the belief that he had jabbed the ball into the ground. Umpire Michael Gough consulted with Martin Bodenham at square leg before he was given out.

It was the only wicket to fall in the morning session and Warwickshire had to wait 27 overs for their next breakthrough when Procter, who helped Horton add 61 for the fifth wicket, was lbw for 34 shuffling in front to Darren Maddy's medium pace.

Horton and Cross, who reached his first 50 of the season, shared an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 139 to take Lancashire to 343-5 when the sides shook hands on the draw.

Day three

Lancashire's out-of-form batsmen held up Warwickshire's push for victory on the third day of their LV= County Championship match at Edgbaston.

Ashwell Prince's unbeaten 87 failed to save Lancashire from being made to follow on 360 runs in arrears after they were dismissed for 197 in mid-afternoon.

But Paul Horton and Karl Brown applied themselves more diligently second time around with a second-wicket stand of 89 which helped Lancashire to 122-3 when bad light halted play nine overs early and took the game into a fourth day.

Chris Woakes struck early in Lancashire's second innings when Stephen Moore edged him to Varun Chopra at first slip but that proved to be the only early wicket.

Brown fell in sight of his second 50 of the season, caught behind playing loosely at Chris Wright, but Horton completed his first half-century since Lancashire won the title in a last-day run-chase at Taunton last September.

The pair appeared in little trouble but Wright's extra pace in deteriorating light accounted for Brown and Prince went in the next over when he drove loosely at Jeetan Patel and edged to Rikki Clarke at slip.

Day Two

Rikki Clarke scored his second century of the season for Warwickshire against Lancashire as the struggling champions look set for another heavy defeat at Edgbaston.

Clarke followed up his 140 in last month's win at Liverpool with an unbeaten 123, which took Warwickshire to 557-6 declared, beating their previous highest total against Lancashire of 532-4 made at Edgbaston in 1901.

Lancashire, who nee 408 to avoid the follow-on, buckled under scoreboard pressure and collapsed to 61-5 against accurate seam bowling.

Paul Horton went lbw playing across the line to Keith Barker and Karl Brown edged a lifter from Chris Woakes to Ambrose.

Chris Wright struck twice in successive overs when he switched to the Pavilion End, bowling Stephen Moore off stump and having Steven Croft caught behind from a delivery that left him late.

Woakes replaced Wright and struck a major blow when Luke Procter was lbw in the day's penultimate over.

Day One

Warwickshire's Varun Chopra cracked a stylish century to frustrate defending champions Lancashire on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division One match at Edgbaston.

Opener Chopra was particularly impressive on the drive in an innings of 113, his second ton of the season, as the hosts reached 289-4 by stumps.

Lancashire's Stephen Moore was left to regret dropping Chopra at second slip on 51 earlier in the day - the chance, off on-loan seamer Ajmal Shahzad, went quickly but at catchable height to Moore who failed to grasp the chance.

Chopra and fellow opener Ian Westwood justified the decision of their captain Jim Troughton to bat first with an opening stand of 168 before finally Westwood departed, caught by Paul Horton off the bowling of Luke Proctor for 70.

Horton took another catch, this time off Simon Kerrigan, to remove William Porterfield (34) before Chopra became the third man to go when he pulled the same bowler to mid-wicket.

Shahzad did for an out-of-form Troughton as he bowled the Warwickshire skipper around his legs, but Darren Maddy (29no) and Tim Ambrose (22no) saw the home side through to teh close with no further losses..

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