Warwickshire maintain perfect start
Keith Barker and Jeetan Patel shone as Warwickshire made it two wins out of two in the LV= County Championship by wrapping up a five-wicket success over Lancashire at Aigburth.
Barker took his first five-wicket haul in the championship and spinner Jeetan Patel also claimed five as Warwickshire, who finished runners-up to Lancashire last season, sealed victory after tea on day four.
Resuming this morning on 44 for four, still 35 behind the visitors, Lancashire were dismissed for 148 in their second innings despite a battling 51 from Ashwell Prince.
Warwickshire - who beat Somerset in their opening match - knocked off the 70 runs needed for victory to claim 22 points.
But the run chase was not without a scare as Varun Chopra, Ian Bell, Neil Carter, Jim Troughton and Darren Maddy all fell to spin duo Simon Kerrigan and Gary Keedy.
In the end, an unbeaten 22 from Will Porterfield, who was supported by Tim Ambrose, saw them home.
Lancashire have now started the defence of their trophy with back-to-back defeats after last week’s opening loss to Sussex.
Warwickshire's bid to secure the win - enhanced by a record 224-run partnership between Rikki Clarke and Maddy on the third day - was delayed for 80 minutes by early-morning rain.
But once play did get underway, it did not take long for Warwickshire to pile the pressure on Lancashire.
Nightwatchman Keedy was first to go in the sixth over of the day, caught at midwicket by Carter off Patel for five.
Luke Procter only lasted three balls as he gloved a short-pitched delivery from the impressive Barker to Ambrose behind the stumps.
Gareth Cross and South Africa international Prince provided some resistance after lunch, putting on 28 for the seventh wicket and wiping out Warwickshire’s lead.
It took a fantastic catch from Bell, diving to his right at short midwicket, to separate the pair as Cross fell to Barker, who finished with 5-54.
Glen Chapple was next to go as he was caught by substitute fielder Ian Westwood at short-leg off Patel.
While Prince remained, Lancashire still had a chance of surviving; he passed his half-century in 116 balls. The left-hander and Kyle Hogg frustrated Warwickshire, putting on 39 for the ninth wicket.
It was Patel who eventually ended Prince’s resistance as he bowled him around his legs, and the New Zealand Test spinner finished with 5-52 when Kerrigan edged to Porterfield at backward short-leg.
Kerrigan removed Chopra and Bell to leave Warwickshire 23 for two, while Neil Carter and captain Jim Troughton fell to Keedy.
Kerrigan removed first-innings centurion Maddy, but Porterfield and Ambrose held their nerve to seal the triumph.