Shropshire Star

Bears thwarted as weather wins at Old Trafford

Any hope of an exciting climax to the last day of the Vitality County Championship encounter between Lancashire and Warwickshire was dashed by the rain after only one hour and a quarter of play was possible at Emirates Old Trafford as the game finished in a draw.


Poor weather had dominated proceedings throughout the encounter but with the visitors 96 for three overnight with a lead of 231 all results were still possible in Manchester given Lancashire’s brittle batting order this season and Warwickshire’s desire to chase a first win of the campaign.

But as heavy showers swept across the ground throughout the morning both sets of players were thwarted with repeated pitch inspections coming and going without any chance of play.

Eventually a break in the weather saw the game resume at 3.15pm with a generous declaration giving Lancashire the opportunity to embark on a desperate run chase with 44 overs still scheduled.

Luke Wells quickly departed in the second over, pulling Michael Rae straight to Jake Lintott on the square leg boundary, but then for a brief time the hosts looked as if they could pull off something special.

Keaton Jennings slapped three boundaries but was bowled comprehensively by Jacob Bethall when attempting a reverse sweep that ended with the Lancashire skipper lying on his backside and out for 18 while Josh Bohannon upper cut Rae for six before he skied the same bowler to Alex Davies at mid on for a ten ball 15.

An almost identical shot saw George Bell hand Rae his third wicket leaving Tom Bruce and Matty Hurst at the crease with the pair putting on 43 runs before the rain came for a final decisive time at 4.30pm, leaving the New Zealander unbeaten on 31 and the young wicket keeper 15 not out as Lancashire closed on 89 for four off the 15 overs possible.

Lancashire claimed 11 points from the game, taking them off the bottom of Division One, while Warwickshire took 12, leaving them seventh. Warwickshire head coach Mark Robinson said: “Alex Davies played an outstanding knock. After day two nobody knew what a good score would be and he should be really proud of his innings. It should have been a match winning knock and it’s a shame that it wasn’t. The way he batted against one of the world’s best spinners, Nathan Lyon, who doesn’t normally miss the rough but in this game he couldn’t hit it. I thought they (Lancashire) bowled defensively. “