Lancashire completed their sixth Specsavers County Championship victory of the season from 10 matches as they chased down a target of 41 to beat Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The Red Rose county, second in Division One, boosted their chances of winning a second title in seven years by completing a maximum 24-point win by eight wickets during the fourth afternoon.
But they were left waiting to see if Somerset could do them a favour by hanging on for the draw against leaders Essex.
At worst, Lancashire will go into next week’s top of the table clash between the two here 36 points behind the Chelmsford side. It could be 25 if Essex fail to win this afternoon.
Tim Ambrose’s 16th career first-class century, an excellent 104 off 198 balls, at least ensured Warwickshire avoided a fifth innings defeat of 2017 as they posted a second-innings total of 344.
But, still, their sixth defeat in 10 leaves them in a perilous situation at the bottom of the table having only taken two points.
They will either be 34 or 35 points adrift of safety by the end of the day with four games remaining.
There was no play possible before lunch due to rain, but play started at 1.10pm with a minimum of 72 overs to be bowled.
The Bears started on 275 for six in their second innings, trailing by 29, with Ambrose unbeaten on 76 and Jeetan Patel 18.
The pair brought up their 50 partnership in the first over from Kyle Jarvis, who set up this win with six first-innings wickets during the opening afternoon on Monday.
Ambrose reached his ton off 156 balls in the 88th over, the third over of play, as the pair shared a stand of 86 inside 20 overs.
That partnership was ended when home captain Ryan McLaren trapped Patel lbw for 30 as the score fell to 315 for seven in the 95th over, a lead of eleven.
Jarvis then bowled Chris Wright with one that kept a touch low in the next over to leave the score at 326 for eight.
Warwickshire were helped along by the addition of five penalty runs when a Matthew Parkinson delivery beat everyone in his first over of the day, including batsman Olly Stone, and hit the helmet placed behind wicketkeeper Alex Davies.
But the leg-spinner struck in his second, the 103rd of the innings, when he had Ambrose lbw with 339 on the board, a lead of 35.
Jarvis wrapped up the innings with his eighth wicket of the match when he uprooted Ryan Sidebottom’s middle and off stumps in the next over, leaving Lancashire with 51 overs to chase their target.
Alex Davies took two boundaries off Keith Barker’s first over, but he fell lbw to the same bowling in the fifth as the score fell to 22 for one.
Haseeb Hameed launched Patel’s off-spin for six over long-on, but he was also lbw in Barker’s next over for 21 as the score fell to 35 for two.
Liam Livingstone, whose first-innings 224 was Lancashire’s standout performance of this match, finished three not out and Dane Vilas two.
Third day fifties for Dom Sibley and Tim Ambrose held up Lancashire’s bid for a Specsavers County Championship victory over Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The struggling Bears have largely been outplayed in this fixture against the Division One title outsiders, but they enjoyed their best period for two and a half sessions in their second innings.
The day started with Lancashire advancing their first-innings reply to 200 from 484 for six to 504 for eight declared, losing Liam Livingstone for 224 and captain Ryan McLaren for 21 to seamer Ryan Sidebottom.
That left Warwickshire with a 304-run deficit at the start of their second innings midway a morning session briefly interrupted by rain, and they closed on 275 for six from 85 overs.
Opener Sibley hit 57 off 106 balls and Ambrose 76 not out off 142. The deficit is now 29.
Warwickshire started their second innings encouragingly by reaching 41 without loss at lunch.
They then lost four afternoon wickets, including Sibley having recorded his first fifty in four-day cricket since moving from Surrey at the start of the month.
Lancashire’s stand-in captain McLaren claimed two of those wickets after Jordan Clark had made the breakthrough.
Livingstone later got Sibley, who had reached his fifty off 85 balls, caught at leg slip by Haseeb Hameed as the score fell to 117 for four in the 38th over.
Clark had Andy Umeed (19) caught behind, leaving the score at 52 for one in the 17th over, before McLaren removed current and former captains Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell lbw for 16 and 15 in the 29th and 35th overs.
Trott shuffled across his crease and played to leg, while Bell was undone by one that kept low as the score fell to 111 for three.
Fifth-wicket pair Ambrose and Matthew Lamb then shared 66 inside 26 overs either side of tea.
Their alliance was broken, however, by underused leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson when he had Lamb caught at slip for 26, leaving the Bears at 183 for five in the 63rd over with the best part of 23 remaining in the day.
Ambrose later reached his fifty off 98 balls with four fours, by which time the deficit was below 100.
Parkinson, bowling in tandem with fellow spinner Livingstone, struck again in the 75th over when he had Manchester-born Keith Barker lbw reverse sweeping as the Bears fell to 229 for six.
The South African seamer took the second new ball five overs before close.
Earlier, Sidebottom had Livingstone caught at short mid-wicket and McLaren caught at deep mid-wicket before rain delayed play for approximately half an hour and brought about the Red Rose declaration.
Warwickshire are now well placed to at least avoid a fifth innings defeat of the season, while there is a slim chance they could even secure a draw should the Manchester weather help them on day four.
Jeetan Patel will begin the day alongside Ambrose unbeaten on 18.
Double centurion Liam Livingstone starred to put second-placed Lancashire on course for a crucial Specsavers County Championship win over Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The hosts have reached the halfway stage of this Division One encounter with the struggling Bears at 484 for six from 122 overs in reply to 200.
They lost only three wickets in the day in advancing from 112 for three overnight to lead by 284. Bad light ended play seven overs early.
England T20 batsman Livingstone batted through the entire day for 215 not out off 318 balls with 25 fours and three sixes – his first career double.
Night-watchman Stephen Parry fell for 43 before lunch and Shiv Chanderpaul and Jos Buttler for 95 and 49 after tea.
West Indian Chanderpaul narrowly missed out on his 77th career first-class century.
He shared 202 in 49 overs with fifth-wicket partner Livingstone from mid-morning to early evening.
Left-handed Chanderpaul turned 43 earlier this month, but he shows no signs of slowing up. This 152-ball effort, including eleven fours, came against one of his other three English counties.
This is his second spell with Lancashire, while he also represented Durham and Derbyshire as well as Warwickshire briefly in 2011.
In a season which has only seen the Bears win one Championship match and sit bottom of the table, there can’t have been too many more frustrating days than this.
Livingstone, 24-years-old, and Parry completed a fourth-wicket stand of 85 before lunch, ended when the latter miscued Jeetan Patel’s off-spin to mid-on two short of a career best score.
That left Lancashire at 165 for four in the 50th over.
From there, Livingstone, who hit 168 in a win over Somerset here earlier in the summer, and Chanderpaul rarely looked troubled on a pitch which has shown the rare signs of uneven bounce.
Livingstone reached his second hundred of the season off 151 balls when he pulled the penultimate ball of the morning from Olly Stone for six over backward square-leg.
He later reached his second 150 of the campaign off 219 balls having earlier pulled his third six of Dom Sibley’s part-time leg-spinners.
By the time, Livingstone reached 150, Warwickshire were bowling with the second new ball and Lancashire were closing in on 350 for four.
Chanderpaul, who started particularly fluently before lunch, fell to the first ball of the evening session’s second over when he pulled Wright to Patel at square-leg, leaving the score at 376 for five in the 99th.
That brought Buttler to the crease, and he got off the mark with an inside-edge for four to fine-leg later in the over before lofting Patel for six over long-on shortly afterwards as Lancashire closed in on a fifth batting point.
Buttler survived a straightforward drop on 19 by Matthew Lamb at short mid-wicket off Patel before later falling for 49, caught at deep mid-wicket off Andy Umeed’s off-spinners as the score fell to 458 for six in the 117th.
Earlier in the over, Livingstone reached 200 off 302 balls. The pair shared 82. Ryan McLaren will begin tomorrow’s third day unbeaten on 13.
Kyle Jarvis took six wickets in an innings for the second Specsavers County Championship match running to give Lancashire the advantage after day one against Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Jarvis returned six for 67 from 18.2 overs as the Bears were bowled out for 200 on the stroke of tea after electing to bat.
They slipped from 89 for three at lunch to 119 for eight before Jeetan Patel and ninth-wicket partner Olly Stone shared 76 to limit some of the damage.
Lancashire then lost Haseeb Hameed, Alex Davies and Dane Vilas cheaply as they replied with 112 for three from 33 overs.
Jarvis took a Red Rose best of six for 61 against Hampshire in their last match, a draw at the Ageas Bowl at the start of the month.
Here, the Zimbabwean claimed all six wickets in the afternoon having improved significantly from his morning new ball spell.
All 10 Warwickshire wickets fell from the Statham End of the ground, with stand-in captain Ryan McLaren claiming four for 45 from 18.
There were signs of uneven bounce when bowling from that end, but certainly not enough to warrant a side being bowled out for 200.
McLaren trapped Dom Sibley lbw offering no shot for one in the third over before getting opposite number Jonathan Trott and former Bears skipper Ian Bell caught at second slip by Jos Buttler for four and 14 as the score fell to 41 for three in the 15th over.
After Patel’s late 47, opener Andy Umeed’s 44 was the next best score.
He played patiently having already succeeded against Lancashire this summer, hitting a century in the pink ball draw at Edgbaston in late June.
But he was the first of the seven afternoon wickets to fall as he was caught behind off a Jarvis delivery with extra bounce in the fourth over the session.
That was the first of four wickets in 24 balls for Jarvis, who had Tim Ambrose caught behind, Keith Barker lbw and Matthew Lamb bowled before both Patel and Stone were dropped during their stand.
Jarvis returned to the attack shortly before tea and had Stone caught behind for 32 as the score fell to 195 for nine in the 61st over before bowling Patel in the 63rd as he played across the line shortly after a batting point had been secured.
Hameed then fell for 15 in the 14th over of Lancashire’s reply when, stuck on the crease, he edged Chris Wright to Umeed at first slip as the score fell to 32 for one.
That was the first wicket to fall from the James Anderson End.
Umeed also took the catch, albeit at the second attempt, to help Ryan Sidebottom get rid of Davies for 20 in the 17th – 44 for two.
Stone, having signed from Northants and playing his first Championship match since May of last year following injury, then took his maiden first-class wicket for the Bears when he bowled Vilas with 80 on the board in the 27th over.
Liam Livingstone will begin day two on 41, including a straight six off Patel, alongside night-watchman Stephen Parry on 15.