Plucky Lancashire earn upper hand

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Rikki Clarke

Rikki Clarke watches the death rattle to end his promising innings. Warwickshire claimed a first-innings lead of just one

Lancashire hold a narrow advantage in the LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Old Trafford thanks to a solid day with bat and ball.

As was the case on the opening day of this Division One clash, wickets fell at a rapid rate in the opening overs.

After seeing the hosts slump to 14 for four at the beginning of the match, Warwickshire followed suit - falling from their overnight score of 13 for one to 28 for four in the 13th over of the innings.

But they recovered to 254 all out inside 75 overs and gained a first-innings lead of one.

Opener Stephen Moore, who finished 43 not out, then helped Lancashire reach 84 for two from 25 overs in their second innings on day two.

Ian Bell, Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke all made useful contributions with the bat as Warwickshire fought back from their early troubles.

England fast bowler James Anderson claimed 2-62 from 20 overs, while Glen Chapple, Tom Smith and Simon Kerrigan each picked up a couple of wickets for Lancashire.

Captain Chapple sent the stumps cartwheeling when he bowled Ian Westwood and nightwatchman Naqaash Tahir in the 12th over before Anderson had England colleague Jonathan Trott caught behind by Luke Sutton for a golden duck.

Bell top-scored with a serene 47 off 85 balls as he and Troughton put on 104 for the fifth wicket before the latter retired hurt with a migraine on 44. Clarke later added 43.

Warwickshire reached 138 for four in the 40th before Bell was caught at short-leg by a juggling Mark Chilton to give 20-year-old left-arm spinner Kerrigan his maiden first-class wicket.

Tom Smith & Lancashire

Tom Smith claims the important wicket of Jim Troughton, who had resumed batting after a migraine caused him to retire

And the debutant picked up his second six overs later when he had Tim Ambrose caught behind to leave the visitors 162 for six. He finished with figures of 2-44 from 18 overs.

Clarke, who hit four fours and a six during his 70-ball stay at the crease, and Chris Woakes carried the visitors beyond 200 before Sajid Mahmood bowled Clarke.

Woakes and Neil Carter then put on 37 for the eighth wicket before the latter was run out thanks to smart work from Steven Croft at point.

The returning Troughton was caught in the slips by Paul Horton in the same Smith over for 44.

At that stage Warwickshire were 239 for nine but Woakes and Imran Tahir carried them to the narrowest of first-innings leads.

Their effort ended when Woakes was caught at second slip for 29 by Moore off Smith.

Smith, opening the batting, fell in the seventh over of Lancashire’s second innings when he was caught by Ambrose off Carter to leave the score 16 for one.

Clarke brilliantly caught Horton for 26 at second slip to end a second-wicket partnership of 54 with Moore. Nightwatchman Anderson will resume with him in the morning.

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