Some miserly bowling from Lancashire ensured it was slow going for Warwickshire but Will Porterfield’s half-century at least provided a platform for the hosts heading into day three of cricket’s LV= County Championship Division One clash at Edgbaston.
Warwickshire toiled through two sessions and 71 overs to reach 130 for four, which was positively pedestrian after Lancashire’s tailenders had added 98 in less than two hours during the morning.
The home side are still 156 runs behind and would have been in a better position had Sam Hain not fallen lbw late on.
Lancashire’s overnight duo of Glen Chapple and Tom Smith made good progress against the second new ball pair of Keith Barker and Chris Wright, scoring at a run a minute until a deterioration in visibility - despite the floodlights being on - forced them off just half an hour after the resumption.
The delay was only 10 minutes but on their return Wright induced a nick from Chapple (33) to break a 59-run stand and Jeetan Patel’s sharp catch at third slip off Boyd Rankin ensured the swift departure of Kyle Hogg pushing away from his body.
Lancashire’s innings appeared to be going down fast as Kabir Ali was lucky to survive a missed stumping off Patel but Smith’s fifth half-century in 13 innings raised hopes of passing 300 for only the third time this season.
However, the 28-year-old, who had already had a narrow escape when one from Rankin jumped to take the outside edge but dropped short of the wicketkeeper, chopped on the next ball he faced.
Ambition got the better of Ali in the last over before lunch when he was caught at long on for a brisk 25 off 40 balls as the innings closed on 286.
Warwickshire lost Varun Chopra with the score on 11 as Ali produced an opening spell of one for five in seven overs, eventually finishing the day without further wickets but conceding just 22 in 13 overs.
His three fellow seamers were similarly frugal with Chapple the meanest with his solitary wicket, pinning Ateeq Javid in front, costing him just six runs in 11 overs.
Warwickshire’s slow progress saw them reach 47 for two in the 33 overs before tea and their run-rate only marginally increased afterwards when, following a change of ball for the second time in the innings, spinners Simon Kerrigan and Steven Croft got through 21 overs between them.
Laurie Evans flashed at Kyle Hogg and edged to slip but Porterfield was stoic and when he pulled Ali to the boundary it was a rare moment of extravagance.
He and Hain brought up three figures in the 61st over only for the latter to fall to Smith.
However, Porterfield could not be moved as he crawled to 51 not out off 182 balls in just under four and a half hours