Lancashire deeper in relegation peril

Steven Croft

Steven Croft

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Warwickshire’s Keith Barker took four wickets against his native Lancashire to plunge them deeper into relegation peril on day two of their final Specsavers County Championship fixture at Edgbaston.

The hosts are also in danger of the drop and were bowled out for 219 on day one, but they battled back superbly to dismiss Lancashire for 152 in their first innings.

A draw here is enough for the Red Rose but that now looks unlikely.

Steven Croft put up most resistance with 45 as Barker, overlooked by Lancashire in his youth, excelled with 4-30 from 20.5 overs to move to 58 wickets for the season.

Warwickshire faced only seven overs in their second innings after tea, reaching 12 without loss to lead by 79 before bad light and rain accounted for the loss of 33 overs.

Lancashire lost 4-4 in 35 balls to slip from 35 without loss to 39-4, with new England opener Haseeb Hameed lbw to Rikki Clarke for 17.

Barker had Luke Procter caught behind, while Chris Wright trapped Rob Jones and Karl Brown lbw.

Croft shared in his side’s two best partnerships, adding 40 for the fifth wicket with Liam Livingstone (21) before the latter was caught at short mid-wicket by Barker off Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

The skipper then shared 55 for the sixth with Clark as they reduced the deficit to double figures.

Croft was bowled by Barker, the first of five wickets to fall for 18 runs, then Jeetan Patel bowled Lilley and had Tom Bailey caught at leg slip before Barker bowled Clark and Jarvis to force an early tea.

A couple of hours lost to weather was a minor boost to Lancashire at the end of a dismal day.