Lancashire edge ahead in tight battle

Lancashire 253 and 84 for 2 v Warwickshire 254

Lancashire hold the advantage in their County Championship match against Warwickshire at Old Trafford thanks to a solid day with bat and ball. As was the case on the opening day of this Division One clash, wickets fell at a rapid rate in the opening overs.

After seeing the hosts slump to 14 for 4 at the beginning of the match, Warwickshire followed suit - falling from their overnight score of 13 for 1 to 28 for 4 in the 13th over of the innings. But they recovered to 254 all out inside 75 overs and gained a first-innings lead of one. Home opener Stephen Moore (43 not out) then helped his side reach 84 for 2 from 25 overs in their second innings at the close on day two.

Ian Bell, Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke all made useful contributions with the bat as Warwickshire fought back from their early troubles. England paceman James Anderson, Glen Chapple, Tom Smith and Simon Kerrigan each picked up a couple of wickets for Lancashire.

Captain Chapple sent stumps cart-wheeling when he bowled Ian Westwood and night-watchman Naqaash Tahir in the 12th over before Anderson had international colleague Jonathan Trott caught behind by Luke Sutton for a golden duck. Bell top-scored with a serene 47 off 85 balls as he and Troughton put on 104 in a fifth-wicket partnership before the latter retired hurt with a migraine on 44. Clarke later added 43.

Warwickshire reached 138 for 4 in the 40th before Bell was caught at short-leg by a juggling Mark Chilton to give 20-year-old left-arm spinner Kerrigan his maiden first-class wicket. And the debutant picked up his second six overs later when he had Tim Ambrose caught behind to leave the visitors 162 for six. He finished with the pick of the figures with two for 44 from 18.

Clarke, who hit four fours and a six during his 70-ball stay at the crease, and Chris Woakes carried the visitors beyond 200 before Sajid Mahmood bowled Clarke in the 61st over. Woakes and Neil Carter then put on 37 for the eighth wicket before the latter was run out thanks to smart work from Steven Croft at point. The returning Troughton was caught in the slips by Paul Horton in the same Smith over without adding to his 44.

At that stage Warwickshire were 239 for nine in the 73rd but Woakes and Imran Tahir carried them to the narrowest of first-innings leads. Their effort ended when Woakes (29) was caught at second slip by Moore off the bowling of Smith in the 75th.

Smith then fell in the seventh over of Lancashire's second innings when he was caught by Ambrose off Carter to leave the score at 16 for 1. And Clarke brilliantly caught Horton (26) at second slip off Woakes to end a second-wicket partnership of 54 with Moore.

Warwickshire 4th innings Partnerships

1st8IJ WestwoodV Chopra
2nd16IR BellIJ Westwood
3rd10IJL TrottIJ Westwood
4th65JO TroughtonIJ Westwood
5th23IJ WestwoodR Clarke
6th0TR AmbroseIJ Westwood
7th6IJ WestwoodCR Woakes
8th1NM CarterIJ Westwood
9th5NS TahirIJ Westwood
10th63Imran TahirIJ Westwood