County Championship: Warwickshire and Lancashire both safe from relegation

Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel is this season's leading County Championship wicket taker
Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel is this season's leading County Championship wicket-taker
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston, day four
Warwickshire 219 & 279-7 dec: Ambrose 59*; Lilley 3-56
Lancashire 152: Barker 4-30 & 109: Lilley 27*; Clarke 4-20, Patel 3-46
Warwickshire (20 pts) beat Lancashire (3 pts) by 237 runs

Warwickshire beat Lancashire by 237 runs at Edgbaston to ensure safety from relegation in the County Championship.

Despite an uncomfortable afternoon, Lancashire eventually also avoided the drop to Division Two, after Durham's victory against Hampshire.

Lancashire, 28-3 overnight, were always up against it going into the final day.

They lost four wickets in the morning, but nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan lasted 117 balls for his 10, before they were all out after lunch for 109.

Arron Lilley delayed the inevitable with a six and four fours in a late assault on spinner Jeetan Patel, whose 3-46 left him as the competition's top wicket-taker with 69.

But all-rounder Rikki Clarke (4-20) ended it when his slower ball removed last man Kyle Jarvis.

The One-Day Cup winners' first home Championship victory of the season - and just their third overall in 16 attempts - left them sixth in the final table, their lowest finish since 2010.

Lancashire's second-half of season slide

Ex-Warwickshire boss Ashley Giles, whose Bears team won the title in 2012, has suffered a frustrating final four months of the season with Lancashire.

They failed to win any of their last 11 matches after beating Surrey by an innings in May, the third of the three early-season victories which took them top of the table.

Lancashire will now play at the same level in Championship cricket next season for the first time since they pipped Warwickshire for the title in 2011, then suffered relegation a year later.

After being promoted in 2013 as Division Two champions, they went down again in 2014, but went straight back up again under Giles a year ago, in 2015.

Victory showed Bears' potential - Bell

Warwickshire captain Ian Bell told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"To escape relegation is great. It was a massive team performance. But we are at the wrong end of the table.

"It was a scrappy game of cricket but, in terms of fight, and the way we went about our cricket, 1 to 11, it was probably our best performance of the season.

"To do that when you need it is great, although it is also frustrating in a way, because it shows what our potential is.

"It's important that, in your home games, you not only don't lose but you win some as well. That's one of the things we need to address next season."

Lancashire director of cricket Ashley Giles told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"There was no lack of trying or commitment, but we were beaten by a better team. Warwickshire have probably not played very good cricket this year but they are a very good, experienced team.

"The wicket was dry and started to wear and Jeetan Patel is the best spinner in the country so it was going to be tough. But I have got no problem with my lads,

"Not winning more games has cost us so we have only got ourselves to blame. We have played in some tight games which could have gone either way. But, if you don't win games of cricket, you are going to be behind the eight-ball.

"We have blooded some really good youngsters and put in some really good performances. I'm sure this group will be better for this experience next year."

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