Lancashire's bowlers helped to turn the tables and seize control of their match against Warwickshire during a fascinating second day's play
Photo: Simon Kerrigan celebrates the wicket of Ian Bell (David Davies/PA Wire)
After being bowled out for 227 during Wednesday’s opening day at Edgbaston, quartet James Anderson, Glen Chapple, Luke Procter and Simon Kerrigan responded in excellent fashion.
Helped out by bowler-friendly conditions, Anderson and Procter took three wickets each and Chapple and Kerrigan two apiece to restrict the hosts to 172 all out, a lead of 55 runs for the visitors.
That was built on later as Steven Croft brought up his second fifty of the four-day campaign in the final over of the day. Lancashire closed on 118-4 from 46 overs and will resume tomorrow with a healthy lead of 173.
Uneven bounce and sideways movement was a regular occurrence both when Warwickshire batted and when Lancashire did for a second time just before and after tea, seemingly more so than yesterday.
Lancashire were reduced to a worrying 27-3 in the eleventh over, Paul Horton, Karl Brown and Stephen Moore all departing cheaply to Chris Woakes, Rikki Clarke and Keith Barker.
Horton was caught behind by Tim Ambrose down the leg-side off Woakes before Brown was trapped lbw by Clarke and Moore fell to Barker in identical fashion.
But Croft and Mark Chilton shared 61 for the fourth wicket to steady the ship and ensure themselves and their team-mates can sleep easily in preparation for day three.
Anderson said: “I thought we did well and scrapped hard. There’s a bit in the wicket, but they’ve got some quality players in their line-up. Chilly and Crofty put on a good partnership, and we’re pleased to have a few wickets left in the tent.”
Ambrose had earlier top scored for Warwickshire, who began the day at 39-1, with a determined 43, but he was really swimming against the tide.
Anderson and Chapple bowled unbroken for seven overs and nine overs respectively this morning, with the latter trapping Varun Chopra lbw with his first ball in the second over of the day.
He also had England man Jonathan Trott caught at second slip by Moore for only nine to leave the hosts at 57-3 in 26th.
Home captain Ian Bell, another England man back on county duty, had fought well and looked reasonably comfortable during his 89-ball stay at the crease. But he fell caught behind to left-arm spinner Kerrigan’s third ball of the innings to leave the Bears at 76-4 in the 36th over. Bell was also Kerrigan’s maiden first-class wicket in last year’s clash between these two sides at Old Trafford.
Then it was the turn of medium pacer Procter, the rising star from Oldham with a windmill of an action, to come to the fore. The 22 year-old forced Clarke to fend a rising delivery to second slip, where a diving Moore took a smart catch, before he forced Pakistani veteran Mohammad Yousuf to chop on as he drove loosely.
And, when Procter had Woakes caught behind by Gareth Cross two overs later, an early lunch was called with the hosts in tatters at 106-7 in the 45th over.
After the break, Ambrose and Keith Barker shared 56 for the eighth wicket. Ambrose looked as comfortable at the crease as anybody had previously done in the game, but he later played around a straight one from Anderson and was rapped on the pads.
Anderson also bowled Boyd Rankin before Kerrigan completed the Warwickshire innings when he had Barker (25) caught at deep cover by Chapple off a leading edge.
The England man finished with 3-57 from 23 overs, and added: “It’s not as if it’s an impossible wicket. With the new ball, there’s a bit (of lateral movement). It looked like it swung a bit for Woakes, Clarke and Barker when they bowled.
“For us it was more off the pitch, but only small amounts. If you ask questions of the batsmen, which we did, you’ll get rewards. They’re going to come hard at us in the morning with their main bowlers. If we can get through that period, hopefully we can push on towards a lead of 300.”
After Lancashire lost their three quick ones, Croft and Chilton eked out the runs before Chilton, who was dropped twice in two balls by Ambrose and Trott off Rankin, was trapped lbw by a Woakes yorker. He went for 23 and the score was 88-4 in 35th.
Trott then further disappointed the Irishman Rankin in the next over when he carpeted a simple chance at first slip with Croft on 31. Rankin too grassed a chance at mid-on off the bowling of Woakes when Croft was on 10.
Report - Day 1
Photo (c) David Davies/PA Wire