The danger of relegation from the top flight of county cricket loomed larger for Lancashire after rivals Middlesex secured a vital draw.
Chris Rogers’ rearguard double-century rescued a precious stalemate for Middlesex against Somerset in their own battle to avoid relegation
The Middlesex captain finished unbeaten on 203 out of 328 for four declared, having begun the final day on 97 at Taunton.
Rogers’ heroics continued the resistance begun by Eoin Morgan and Toby Roland-Jones in the Londoners’ first innings.
The Australia Test opener batted for seven-and-a-half hours, eventually passing 200 for the 11th time in his career when he struck Jack Leach for his 29th boundary from the 381st ball he faced.
Moments later, Rogers shook hands with his opposite number Marcus Trescothick - having carried his team to safety from a once highly implausible position after they had followed on 300 runs behind.
Rogers shared century stands with Dawid Malan and Joe Denly (60) as Middlesex lost only seven wickets over the final two days.
They will therefore head for next week’s relegation decider at Old Trafford needing only a maximum six more points to send Lancashire down.
Meantime, vYorkshire have made it clear they will present a staunch defence of their captain Andrew Gale against a reported charge of a racist offence.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has yet to confirm the nature of a hearing expected to take place next Tuesday, and on Wednesday night declined to add to previous statements about the disciplinary process facing Gale.
He was banned for his team’s final two LV= County Championship matches of the season, under mandatory disciplinary procedure, following his on-field spat with Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince at the start of this month.
When he was then kept away, at the behest of the ECB, from Yorkshire’s trophy celebrations after they won the title for the 32nd time at Trent Bridge last week, the governing body clarified the situation in a press release.
Amid subsequent reports of a possible racist element to Gale’s remarks, Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon has spelled out the club’s intention to defend him.
He said:”We are going to do what we can to help him clear his name. The club will help Andrew in any way possible.”
The ECB has so far directed further request for confirmation back to its statement last Friday, which read: ‘’After an incident at the recent LV=CC match between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board made a formal complaint to the cricket discipline commission (CDC) about the conduct of the Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.
‘’On receipt of this complaint, the CDC has decided to convene a disciplinary panel hearing to consider the matter.
‘’The ECB will not make any further comment until the disciplinary process is concluded.’’