Lancashire slipped to their second successive defeat of the new LV= County Championship campaign as Warwickshire claimed a five-wicket win at Aigburth.
Despite 51 from Ashwell Prince, the champions were bowled out for 148 in their second innings on the fourth day, setting the Bears a target of 70 to win.
Lancashire, however, didn’t make it easy for them. Simon Kerrigan claimed the wickets of Varun Chopra, Ian Bell and Darren Maddy while fellow left-arm spinner Gary Keedy accounted for Neil Carter and James Troughton.
But Warwickshire held their nerve and an unbeaten 22 from Will Porterfield saw them home, with Tim Ambrose hitting the winning runs.
“We were competitive on day one, we had a good day two, poor day three and an up-and-down final day,” said Lancashire captain Glen Chapple.
“It is easy to see how we can start winning games because it is clear which areas we need to brush up on.
“While we have players who are batting well, we need to make bigger partnerships and when we get on top we need to push home our advantage.
“And with the ball we have had spells where we have bowled really well, have been very threatening and created big problems, but also had spells where we didn’t quite get it right for whatever reasons.
“All eleven of us have to go away and have a look at things, and come back strong next week,”
Lancashire resumed day four on 44-4, still trailing Warwickshire by 35 runs. After rain washed out the first 80 minutes, Red Rose hopes of posting a challenging target evaporated as nightwatchman Keedy and Luke Procter were both out before lunch.
Gareth Cross (20) and Kyle Hogg (21no) both stayed with Prince long enough to at least set a target for Warwickshire to chase. However, with Keith Barker taking 5-54 and spinner Jeetan Patel 5-52, it wasn’t enough.
“Another 40 runs and we could have been in with a great chance of winning,” said Chapple.
“But it is frustrating because we know we can play better and that’s what we need to do.
“We can definitely see areas where we can improve. Warwickshire are a title-chasing team and although we are under par there is not far for us to go before we are turning sides over.”
Lancashire’s next LV= County Championship match is against Somerset at Taunton, starting on Thursday.
Reports: Day 1 I Day 2 I Day 3
Photo of Ashwell Prince (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd