Late Maddy brace swings day Warks' way

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Darren Maddy claimed two late wickets to hand Warwickshire the initiative after a rain-affected first day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Lancashire at Aigburth.

Maddy's scalps of Ashwell Prince and Steven Croft contributed to a mini-collapse of three wickets for 22 runs as the hosts fell to 123 for five just before the close.

Beaten by 10 wickets by Sussex on the same ground last week and bowled out for just 124 and 176, Lancashire had put losing their 10th toss in 11 home matches behind them by making a positive start.

Karl Brown was in determined mood as he helped navigate tricky batting conditions, although Warwickshire's attack were nowhere near as consistent as Sussex's had been.

Brown top-scored with 46 off 105 balls as the defending champions closed the day on 125 for five from 55 overs against last season's runners-up.

Keith Robinson & Tim Barker

Keith Barker dismays after bowling Stephen Moore with a no-ball. Moore made 19 and Lancshire closed on 125 for five at Aigburth

But Brown was one of those three wickets to fall as he fended an accurate short ball from Chris Wright to Will Porterfield at gully.

Lancashire's best partnership was 43 for the second wicket between Brown and Paul Horton.

Maddy, employed as the fifth bowler by captain Jim Troughton, finished with 2-11 from eight overs.

Keith Barker, who had trials with Lancashire as well as spells as a footballer with north west clubs Blackburn and Rochdale, bowled three no-balls in his opening spell after play started at 1.45pm.

And one of those cost him the early wicket of Stephen Moore, who he bowled with his first delivery of the day before seeing the umpire's arm outstretched.

The left-armer gained revenge with the last ball of the 12th over when Rikki Clarke pulled off a stunning one-handed catch low down to his right at second slip, leaving the score at 34 for one.

Barker and new delivery partner Wright bowled unchanged for the first 22 overs of today's play, broken by two delays for rain and hail and the tea break.

The second wicket to fall was that of Horton, who was trapped lbw by Clarke's medium pace during a 37-over evening session, with the score at 77 for two in the 29th.

Prince chipped Maddy's medium pace to Ian Bell at short mid-on 16 overs later, giving Warwickshire some much-needed impetus.

Wright then got Brown before Croft edged Maddy's medium pace to Clarke at second slip.

A fourth interruption, this time for bad light, brought play to an early end and took the number of overs lost to 41.

Lancashire have made the brave decision to play two left-arm spinners in Simon Kerrigan and Gary Keedy, who turned down a three-year contract offer from Warwickshire last September. The visitors' New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel did not bowl today.

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