Last pair turn the tide for Lancashire

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Sajid Mahmood

Sajid Mahmood, who occupied last position in the order, salutes his first Lancashire half-century in five years

Sajid Mahmood and Glen Chapple shared a 10th-wicket partnership of 77 inside 12 overs to help Lancashire set Warwickshire a daunting 319 for victory in their LV= County Championship match at Old Trafford.

Mahmood recorded his first half-century for Lancashire since 2005 and Chapple reached his second of this Division One fixture to boost the hosts to a second-innings total of 319.

Mahmood then added the prize wicket of England batsman Ian Bell, lbw for nine, and Tom Smith trapped Jonathan Trott in front for six as Warwickshire slumped to 34 for three in their chase.

They closed day three on 52 for three from 29 overs, requiring a further 267 for victory.

Mahmood, 28, went through a purple patch of scoring seven boundaries in 10 balls on his way to 52 off 41 deliveries as he took a liking to leg-spinner Imran Tahir and England Lions colleague Chris Woakes.

Lancashire had slumped to 113 for six early this morning as Neil Carter got rid of Stephen Moore, Ashwell Prince and nightwatchman James Anderson.

On each of the three days at Old Trafford, wickets have tumbled in the first hour due to prodigious movement through the air and off the pitch.

Carter, who finished with an impressive 5-79 from 26 overs, trapped Moore lbw, had Prince caught in the slips by Bell and rearranged Anderson’s stumps, while Woakes had Mark Chilton caught behind by Tim Ambrose.

Steven Croft also added his second fifty of the match and top-scored with 56 off 94 balls as he helped the hosts recover to 192 for six thanks to a seventh-wicket partnership of 84 with Luke Sutton.

All-rounder Croft fell when he tried to uppercut Carter over third man but found Trott on the boundary, before Sutton edged Naqaash Tahir to the same fielder in the slips.

When Simon Kerrigan was lbw to Imran the game was well and truly in the balance at 242 for nine in the 80th. After all, Warwickshire had gained a first-innings lead of only one run.

But the visitors were frustrated as Mahmood reached his half-century, which included a straight six off Tahir, off only 38 balls, and Chapple added an unbeaten 53 off 79 balls.

Mahmood hit nine fours to complement that maximum while Chapple thumped four fours and a six. The former was last man out, caught at short-leg by Varun Chopra off Tahir.

Chopra was soon in the action again as the first man out in Warwickshire’s second innings, trapped lbw by Chapple for six in the sixth over.

Lancashire knew they were on top when man-of-the-moment Mahmood and Smith removed key duo Bell and Trott before the 22nd over was up.

Ian Westwood, on 24 not out, and Jim Troughton must navigate tomorrow’s first hour if their side are to have any chance of staving off defeat.

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