Lancashire v Warwickshire: Tim Ambrose century cannot prevent Red Rose victory
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford (day four):|
|Warwickshire 200: Jarvis 6-67, McLaren 4-45 & 344: Ambrose 104, Sibley 57, Patel 30|
|Lancashire 504-8 dec: Livingstone 224 & 42-2: Hameed 21; Barker 2-18|
|Lancashire (24 pts) beat Warwickshire (2 pts) by eight wickets|
Lancashire claimed their fourth County Championship Division One win of the season as they beat bottom side Warwickshire at Old Trafford.
After a lost morning session due to the weather and, with rain still in the air in Manchester, they were held up by Tim Ambrose's first century of the season.
But, once he had gone for 104, the Bears were bowled out for 344.
Lancashire then knocked off the runs on 42-2 to win by eight wickets and keep their slim title hopes alive.
After no play was possible before lunch following overnight rain, Warwickshire resumed on 275-6 with much depending on 34-year-old Australia-born former England wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose converting his unbeaten 76 into a big score.
Although he helped avoid a fifth innings defeat this summer when he reached his century off 156 balls to bring the Bears level, after putting on 86 with fellow veteran Jeetan Patel (30), the last four wickets went down for just 29 runs.
Young leg spinner Matthew Parkinson ended up with three wickets for Lancashire, as did stand-in skipper Ryan McLaren, who claimed a seven-wicket match haul.
Warwickshire's Lancastrian left-armer Keith Barker then took his first two wickets of the match, getting rid of both openers lbw - including England's Haseeb Hameed for 21 - just before the end.
But Lancashire got the job done before the threat of imminent rain returned to hand Warwickshire a sixth defeat in 10 Championship games this summer.
Who's up next?
Second-placed Lancashire's 24-point maximum did eat a little into leaders Essex's pre-match 41-point lead.
With Essex having failed to pick up any batting bonus points in their 179-run win over Somerset, their lead is now down to 36 points ahead of the top two sides meeting at Old Trafford next week.
After reverting to Birmingham Bears clothes for this weekend's T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday, Warwickshire's next Championship game is against fellow strugglers Somerset also on home soil three days later.
With just four games left, Warwickshire are even adrift of safety, now 38 points behind Middlesex, whose game against Surrey was abandoned at The Oval.
Lancashire coach Glen Chapple told BBC Radio Manchester:
"If you can take a big first-innings lead at Old Trafford, it will give you a chance. The pitch looked good both early on and two days prior to the game. It was bat first for anyone's money. Having bowled on it first, we did a good job to restrict them.
"Then we had that 200 partnership between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Liam Livingstone. That's Livvy. It was a quality knock. I don't remember many chances. It was a well-paced knock mixed with moments of outright power. He has the ability to play measured innings and also, when it's in his slot or he takes a fancy to a bowler.
"We played Essex in the first game of the season, and I thought we had the best of that. It was disappointing at the time not to get over the line, and we would hope to dominate the next game and see where that takes us."
Warwickshire coach Jim Troughton told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:
"It was a great innings by Tim Ambrose. If we could have got a three-figure lead or 150, you just don't know with rain around and a wicket that's dying.
"What we've got to hope for now is for Essex to beat Somerset and Middlesex lose to Surrey. It's then a huge game next week against Somerset. We have to drag the likes of Yorkshire into it and put people under pressure.
"The win against Middlesex showed what we're capable of. It's just that we've got to show that over four days of cricket and not have these shocking hours where we're losing clusters of wickets."