Lancashire v Warwickshire: Hosts close in on victory against bottom side Bears

Ryan McLaren's removal of Warwickshire's Ian Bell was the home side's big breakthrough at Old Trafford
Ryan McLaren's removal of Warwickshire's Ian Bell was the home side's big breakthrough at Old Trafford
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford (day three):
Warwickshire 200: Jarvis 6-67, McLaren 4-45 & 275-6: Ambrose 76*, Sibley 57
Lancashire 504-8 dec: Livingstone 224, Chanderpaul 93, Buttler 49, Parry 43
Warwickshire trail Lancashire by 29 runs with four wickets remaining
Lancashire 8 pts, Warwickshire 2 pts

Relegation-haunted Warwickshire ended day three in danger of a fifth innings defeat of the summer as they closed on 275-6 in their second innings against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Once overnight double centurion Liam Livingstone was out for a career-best 224, the hosts declared on 504-8.

That left the Bears needing 304 to make Lancashire bat again.

But half-centuries from Tim Ambrose and Dom Sibley allowed Warwickshire to take the game into the final day.

Sibley's fifty was his first for the Bears in Championship cricket since his mid-season move from Surrey.

He was undone by Livingstone's leg spin for 57, while Ryan McLaren trapped both Bears captain Jonathan Trott and his out-of-form predecessor Ian Bell cheaply leg before wicket.

Ambrose is unbeaten on 76 not out, having put on 76 for the seventh wicket with Jeetan Patel, who has so far hit four fours in his 18 not out. Their first target will be the 29 runs they need to at least take the game into a fourth innings.

With Division One leaders Essex by no means certain to beat Somerset at rain-hit Chelmsford, a fourth victory of the season for Lancashire could help close the 41-point gap with four games still to play.

Lancashire captain Ryan McLaren told BBC Radio Manchester:

"We're very happy with how the three days have gone so far. The pitch surprised us both on the first day. Both captains wanted to bat. There was quite a bit of movement around, but up to now we've been in control.

"Liam's innings, combined with a couple of partnerships, has put us into a strong position. And we got some important wickets at crucial times.

"Liam's a young guy with a lot of talent and ability, and he's got a good cricket brain. It's about him transferring that on a consistent level. In the camp, we all know he's capable of it."

Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"We dug our heels in a bit in that second innings. We had something to prove after not getting quite as many runs as we'd have liked in the first innings. They showed us how to bat on it.

"We just need to keep being positive. We're only 29 behind and we've still got people to come who can bat.

"It's turning a lot and there's still a bit of a nibble with the new ball and, if we can get some sort of total together and set a target, there's no reason why we can't have a crack at it."

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes was part of the Bears side which won the T20 Blast on home soil at Edgbaston in 2014

Woakes back for Finals Day

Warwickshire's England all-rounder Chris Woakes will be available to play for Birmingham Bears on T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday.

After returning from a month's duty with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, Woakes has missed most of this season with a side injury.

He was recalled by England for the second Test defeat by West Indies at Headingley, making 23 and 61 not out with the bat and taking a wicket in each innings.

Hampshire spinner Mason Crane and Nottinghamshire paceman Stuart Broad have also been named in the squad for the third Test, which starts at Lord's on 7 September, but all three have been cleared to play at Edgbaston by the England & Wales Cricket Board.

Woakes has twice appeared at Finals Day for the Bears, helping them to win the trophy in 2014, but has not yet played in this year's competition.

His only other first-class outing this summer was for Warwickshire in the day-night County Championship game against Lancashire in June.

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