Lancashire denied by Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose

LV County Championship Division One, Liverpool
Lancashire 186 & 380 draw with Warwickshire 280 &217-8
Warwicks 8pts, Lancashire 6pts
Match scorecard
Tim Ambrose
Former England wicketkeeper Ambrose has passed 50 four times in the County Championship this summer

Tim Ambrose hit 66 not out to deny Lancashire as Warwickshire drew with their fellow Championship challengers.

Set 290 to win after bowling Lancashire out for 380, the Bears were in trouble after slumping from 72-0 to 92-4.

Ambrose shared stands of 68 with Laurie Evans and 50 with Rikki Clarke to make the draw appear inevitable.

Steven Croft dismissed Chris Woakes and Jeetan Patel in the penultimate over to set up a nervy finish but Ambrose stood firm as the Bears closed on 217-8.

The draw - the first at Aigburth in 10 matches since 2004 - leaves both sides in the thick of the title race, with Lancashire temporarily replacing Durham at the top of the table, while Warwickshire slip to fourth following Somerset's victory over Sussex.

Lancashire had resumed on 374-9 but soon saw Kyle Hogg sky Boyd Rankin to Jim Troughton at mid-off.

Warwickshire began their run chase briskly, with Varun Chopra and Neil Carter putting on 72 in 15.4 overs, before they were derailed by the loss of four wickets for 20 runs in seven overs.

The partnerships Ambrose shared with Evans and Clarke seemed to have ended Lancashire's push for victory, only for Gary Keedy to have Clarke caught by Paul Horton six overs before the close.

Woakes and Patel were then both bowled by off-spinner Steven Croft in the penultimate over of the match, but Ambrose defended Keedy's final over to secure the draw.

CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY

BBC Radio Lancashire's Liam Bradford:

"Late drama the order of the day once again for Lancashire, they just don't do things the easy way.

"This game could have been a classic had it not been for the weather. As it is, it'll have to settle for being a brilliant game of cricket. Lancashire will feel that they just needed more time, and the brilliant thing is, so will Warwickshire.

"Once again we had to wait until the final day for any idea of what the result was going to be and, as it turned out, it took until the penultimate ball of the last over of the day to final put this game to rest. There's still plenty of room in county cricket for a hard-earned draw.

"Nothing to feel upset about though, both sides comitted themselves and neither side got the result, both sides had chances to win it and neither side could. Is there anything better than a properly good score draw?"

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