Lancashire v Warwickshire, Royal London Cup, Group B, Old Trafford August 2, 2015

Warks scrape home in nail-biting finish


Warwickshire 268 for 7 (Chopra 88, Ambrose 59) beat Lancashire 265 for 7 (Prince 82, Davies 73*, Rankin 3-33) by three wickets

Varun Chopra helped secure a first victory for the 2014 beaten finalists © Getty Images

Warwickshire notched up their first victory of this season's Royal London Cup after a thrilling last-gasp three-wicket win against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Varun Chopra's 88, plus Tim Ambrose' half-century at better than a run a ball laid the foundations for Warwickshire to reach their target of 266, but they still needed three fours in the final over from Ateeq Javid to seal victory with a solitary ball to spare.

Last year's finalists had lost twice and gained a point from an abandonment in their other fixtures and managed to restrict their hosts to 265 for 7, Ashwell Prince and Alex Davies starring for Lancashire, who were put into bat. Lancashire were quickly on the back foot when Keith Barker tempted Karl Brown to edge behind in just the fifth over as the Lightning struggled for a foothold in the opening exchanges.

Salvation came in the usual shape of South Africa's Prince, who brought his stunning first-class form into the shorter format with a typically belligerent innings that found its feet in the 10th over when the veteran opener pulled successive balls from Rikki Clarke to the leg side boundary for four then six.

Prince and fellow countryman Alviro Petersen put on 62 for the second wicket before the latter skied an on drive to the back-pedalling Keith Barker at mid-on for 22. The setback made little difference to Prince who continued unheeded as he and Paul Horton proceeded to compile another crucial partnership of 75 until Horton was strangled down the leg side for 37 by Boyd Rankin.

Rankin had struggled early on but his second spell proved far more fruitful as Horton's departure triggered a mini collapse. Prince was the next to go, missing out on his century after edging the big Irishman behind for 82, and when skipper Steven Croft quickly followed in the same manner, Lancashire had lost three wickets for seven runs.

It was left to 20-year-old wicketkeeper Davies to restore some momentum into the innings with a knock full of improvisation which included one boundary off a one-handed backhand smash.

Davies and James Faulkner added a valuable 79 before the close, but it was a target that looked well within Warwickshire's reach, especially when Chopra and William Porterfield put on 64 for the opening wicket.

The introduction of left arm spinner Steven Parry proved vital as he removed Porterfield for 38 before former England Test player Jonathan Trott quickly departed following a poor shot off Faulkner.

Chopra and Ambrose, compiled a third wicket partnership of 102 to bring the visitors back into contention. Ambrose fell lbw to Jarvis for 59 off 57 balls before the accurate Parry removed Clarke for five and then Croft bowled Laurie Evans for 11.

Chopra was finally dismissed in the 44th over, 60 runs short of the target, but in a nail biting last over Javid and Jeetan Patel kept their nerve as the former hit Tom Bailey for the winning boundary from the penultimate delivery of the match.