Lancashire edge attritional opening day
Lancashire 323 for 8 v Warwickshire
Lancashire's batsmen bought valuable time for England seamer James Anderson with a determined display on an attritional opening day of their County Championship match against Division One opponents Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Anderson was named in Lancashire's side at the toss even though he was not yet back from the Caribbean following England's World Twenty20 success. England's management are keen for Anderson to play some cricket before next week's first Test against Bangladesh at Lord's as he did not play a game in the World Twenty20 so Lancashire made provision for him to join this game part of the way through.
Anderson is expected to rejoin the county on Wednesday and replace debutant allrounder Luke Procter who was nominated as the man to make way for the England player. Anderson should have something to bowl at thanks to half centuries from Stephen Moore (61), Ashwell Prince (51) and Steven Croft (75 not out) which took Lancashire to 323 for 8.
But Lancashire had to battle for supremacy against a competitive Warwickshire attack on the same pitch used for Sunday's Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent. South Africa left-hander Prince played the most fluent innings with six fours in his 91-ball 50, but he fell tamely when he was bowled around his legs trying to sweep legspinner Imran Tahir.
Prince shared a third wicket stand of 94 in 30 overs with Moore, with Moore collecting runs impressively on both sides of the wicket to reach his 50 from 95 balls. He became becalmed thereafter, however, and his next 11 runs came from 45 balls. Moore eventually lost patience and skied Tahir to mid-off trying to lift the bowler back over his head.
Prince and Moore stabilised Lancashire after Luke Sutton was trapped lbw to Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin's first ball in the championship this season and Paul Horton nicked Darren Maddy's loosener to Tim Ambrose behind the stumps.
The departure of Prince and Moore in the space of five overs meant that Lancashire had to regroup again and they did that successfully through former captain Mark Chilton and Croft, adding 78 in 20 overs for the fifth wicket.
Former Lancashire academy seamer Andy Miller broke the stand when he had Chilton caught behind from one that nipped away and then had Tom Smith taken by Jonathan Trott at first slip, a sixth successive single figure score for the left-hander.
Procter fell to Rankin having struck three fours in his 13 but Croft completed his sixth half-century in seven championship innings from 75 balls and prolonged the resistance in another half-century stand with Lancashire captain Glen Chapple.