County Championship: Warwickshire's tail wags again after early Lancs breakthrough

Warwickshire all-rounder Keith Barker
Warwickshire all-rounder Keith Barker made his second Championship half-century of the season to follow his 2-40 off 19 overs with the ball
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire v Warwickshire, day two
Lancashire 308: Croft 100, Brown 61, Livingstone 34*; Patel 3-87, Barker 2-40
Warwickshire 202-6: Chopra 59, Barker 57*, Ambrose 48*; Smith 2-18, Parkinson 2-39
Lancashire 5 pts, Warwickshire 4 pts
Match scorecard

Warwickshire's tail came to the rescue again as Lancastrian Keith Barker led a fightback against his native county.

Despite opener Varun Chopra's 59, the Bears looked in trouble on 94-6, in reply to Lancashire's total of 308.

But Manchester-born Barker then made an unbeaten 57, sharing a century stand with Tim Ambrose (48 no) to help Warwickshire rally to 202-6 at stumps.

After resuming on 196-4, Lancashire skipper Steven Croft perished for 100, two balls after reaching his century.

Croft (82 overnight) and Karl Brown, who resumed on 41, took their fifth-wicket stand to 143 before Barker ended it after the Bears took the new ball.

After he removed Brown leg before for 61 off the final ball of the 81st over, Croft then reached his 11th first-class century.

But Rikki Clarke got Croft in his next over to speed up a slide in which the home side lost their last six wickets for 74.

After a 54-run opening stand, Warwickshire then lost six wickets for 40 runs, both captain Ian Bell and all-rounder Clarke departing for golden ducks.

Andy Umeed and Ian Bell edged successive balls from Kyle Jarvis as both fell to superb slip catches by Tom Smith and Liam Livingstone respectively.

Teenage leg-spinner Matt Parkinson then got rid of Jonathan Trott and Chopra and, when two more wickets fell in successive balls, this time from Smith, who removed Sam Hain and Clarke, the Bears were 65 shy of avoiding the follow-on.

But Warwickshire have proved in recent years that the second half of their batting order is almost as effective as their first - and Barker and Ambrose came to the rescue again.

Matt Parkinson makes a noise on his debut

Lancashire debutant Matt Parkinson enjoyed a memorable and somewhat surreal introduction to first-class cricket.

Called on to bowl just before tea, the 19-year-old delivered just three balls before an outbreak of noise from a faulty PA system caused the umpires to take the players off the field while the problem was resolved.

When peace returned and cricket resumed, Parkinson, having begun his over at 15:37 BST, concluded it at 16:06 BST, but the Bolton youngster was not unsettled in the least.

His ninth ball brought his first first-class wicket, former England Test batsman Trott, caught at slip, and his 25th removed England Lions opener Chopra. Bowling with impressive control and appealing flight and loop, he ended the day with figures of 18-4-39-2.

'It was all a bit confusing really' - Parkinson

Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson told BBC Radio Manchester:

"It did help having to come off after three balls because that helped me focus again. We didn't really know what was happening. I think we would have carried on but Jonathan Trott did not want to be disturbed while we was batting. I'm not sure what we would have done in his position.

"I don't think that will ever happen again in my career - bowling three balls then waiting 25 minutes to bowl the next three.

"It was all a bit confusing really but then we got back on and it was a great feeling when I got that first wicket. I didn't really know what to do. I just ran towards the boundary and then realised there were no fans there so I knew I'd messed up and just ran to the next player.

"We'd seen their spinner bowl 30 overs so we knew the ball was going to spin so I was just waiting for my chance to come and I am just pleased that I took it."

Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown told BBC WM:

"It seems to be a trait all season, not just us but other teams, that there has been a lot of early wickets and we've needed the lower order to dig deep.

"Credit to Tim Ambrose and Keith Barker for doing that today, and also to Varun Chopra for the way he played up front.

"With bat and ball, Barks is playing extremely well this season. We know he has got good credentials as a batter, it's just a shame that we have leaned on them a bit more often than we'd have liked this season.

"Matt Parkinson bowled really well. He didn't bowl any bad balls which is unusual for a young leg-spinner making their way in the game. It is a difficult art to master and he put a lot of pressure on us."

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