Head coach Peter Moores admitted his side suffered a tough day as Warwickshire left Lancashire fighting to save their Championship match at Aigburth.
A record-breaking 224-run partnership in just 54 overs between Rikki Clarke and Darren Maddy turned the game on its head as Warwickshire, who were at one stage facing the prospect of following on, made 329 to claim a first-innings lead.
Paul Horton, Stephen Moore, Karl Brown and Steven Croft all fell in the final session to leave Lancashire 44-4 in their second innings, still trailing by 35 going into the final day.
But Moores insists the champions can still get something from the match.
“It was a tough day for us,” admitted Moores. “At one stage we were thinking about enforcing the follow-on or at least getting a substantial lead.
“Credit to Maddy and Clarke, they played really well. Clarke took the game to us and we are disappointed we didn’t respond. This pitch allows you to score at a decent rate if you get in, and he did that and put us under pressure. But you don’t expect to get a 200-run partnership against you.
“It is a very good day for Warwickshire and we have our work cut out for us tomorrow.
“But we know we can get out of this situation because we have good players. This is about saving the game and about batsmen getting themselves in nick and getting some momentum in the season.”
The day started well for Lancashire as Simon Kerrigan claimed the early wickets of Chris Wright and Tim Ambrose to leave Warwickshire struggling on 81-7 in reply to the home side’s 250. But Clarke and Maddy then turned the game.
They both raced to three figures, with Clarke hitting Kerrigan for three sixes and Maddy – scoring his first Championship ton for four years - adding another off Keedy to level the score.
In the end, Kyle Hogg got both the Warwickshire batsmen, with Maddy going for 112 and Clarke 140 off just 201 deliveries – his highest score for the Bears.
The stand was the highest eighth-wicket partnership by a Warwickshire duo against Lancashire, and was four runs short of the highest eighth-wicket stand for the club against any opposition set in 1925 by Arthur Croom and Bob Wyatt.
Kerrigan finished with 4-89 as he ended the Warwickshire innings by having Jeetan Patel caught by Paul Horton at slip.
Lancashire’s hopes took a further blow when Keith Barker claimed the wickets of Moore, Horton and Brown in the final 20 overs of the day, while Steven Croft was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary off the bowling of Patel just before close.
Reports: Day 1 I Day 2
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh & Barry Mitchell
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd