County Championship: Bears build on first-innings lead at Lord's

Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke
Rikki Clarke has taken 19 Championship wickets this season
LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's (day three)
Warwickshire 342 and 58-2: Chopra 31 no
Middlesex 260: Compton 74, Clarke 3-42, Rankin 3-52
Warwickshire lead by 140 runs
Warwickshire 6 pts, Middlesex 5 pts
Match scorecard

Warwickshire ended day three at Lord's with a 140-run lead against Middlesex but, with almost three sessions' worth of cricket already lost in this game, a draw remains the most likely result.

Resuming on 39-1, Middlesex were bowled out for 260, a deficit of 82 runs.

Ex England opener Nick Compton led the way with 74 before his exit triggered the loss of four wickets for 14 runs.

Rikki Clarke (3-42) and Boyd Rankin (3-52) claimed three scalps each before the Bears pressed on to close on 58-2.

Hove pitch escapes punishment
The pitch used for Warwickshire's three-day Championship defeat by Sussex at Hove last week was officially rated "poor" by umpires Michael Gough and Richard Evans. A report was prepared and submitted to the ECB's cricket discipline commission but, following a visit from a pitch consultant, no further action will be taken.

Skipper Varun Chopra looked well set on 31 before bad light called a halt four balls from the scheduled end of the day.

But, with the weather having already had a big say in this game, the visitors will need to score quickly in the morning if they are to set up any sort of meaningful declaration.

Middlesex batsman Nick Compton told BBC Radio London 94.9:

"It was not in my plan out there to hook, so it is disappointing to get out playing that shot. The odds were in Boyd Rankin's favour and I did not need to take it on. It would have been a really good hundred to have scored.

"I would say that Warwickshire are in the ascendancy but, although it is a difficult pitch at times, it is not impossible to bat on it and Neil Dexter showed that too in his innings, which was a very good one."

Warwickshire fast bowler Chris Wright told BBC WM:

"We have been talking in the dressing room about what sort of target we might set them on the last day, but first of all we need to bat well in the morning session and get through to lunch in as good a shape as possible.

"It would be nice on that pitch to have a go at bowling them out in the final two sessions, but we need to get much further in front first."

Top Stories