After three hard-fought days, Warwickshire and Lancashire had to settle for a draw as the fourth day of their day/night Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston was washed out. The game had been intriguingly poised with Lancashire set to resume on the fourth day on 178 for four, leading by 130.
All results were still possible with the visitors targeting their third successive win while Warwickshire knew that early wickets could have opened the door to their first championship victory of the season.
But the rain which had been forecast on Wednesday, but never arrived, came a day late, setting in over Birmingham in the morning and continuing to fall until the match was called off at 4pm.
Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton said: “It is a little bit frustrating because it’s been a tough start to the season for us and in the two games where we have played some good cricket the rain has curtailed play.
“It would have been an interesting passage of play today. Lancashire were only 130 ahead and if we had got a couple of early wickets and got into their bowlers then potentially it could have been an interesting day.
“But we will take a lot of good stuff from the game. The guys have put in a good, solid shift over three days.
“We had some chats after the disappointment down at Chelmsford last week and we have seen a reaction. They are small steps but we are going in the right direction. We know we haven’t been up to our best with bat or ball so it was good to take ten wickets and we had to think outside the box a little bit how to take those with the pink ball. George Panayi did really well on his debut and then Andy Umeed’s knock, in those conditions against an attack including the best bowler England has ever produced, showed a lot of skill and great temperament.”
Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said: “It was set up for an interesting finish. We still had work to do but had given some thought to us forcing a victory and I am sure Warwickshire were in the same boat. We didn’t expect the rain today so it was a bit of a surprise.
“This game was a different challenge with the pink ball and the pitch itself was quite slow so it was quite hard work for the batters. I thought we competed really well and got ourselves right back into the game and it finishes off four games in succession which we identified were going to be crucial for us. We have got ourselves in a decent position which we are pleased with. There’s more work to do later on but now we can turn our attention to T20 cricket.
“I think the lads enjoyed the day/nighter because it was something different. It looks like the pink ball behaved slightly differently to a red ball. It offers some spin and is good to grip for the spinners, but it’s early days.”
An intriguing, if slow-burning, day/night Specsavers County Championship tussle between Warwickshire and Lancashire will head into the final day at Edgbaston with all results still possible.
In search of a third successive championship victory, Lancashire closed the third day on 178 for four, 130 ahead.
On a slowish pitch with pink balls which, the participants report, have gone very soft after about 30 overs, any target around 250 would be a tough ask for a Warwickshire side which has suffered more than its share of batting collapses this season.
With runs coming throughout the match at an average of fewer than three per over, a slow-burning plot it has certainly been – with a historic dimension. During the home side’s first-innings 321 (earning them a lead of 48), Andy Umeed lodged the slowest century in championship history. On his way to 113 (392 balls, seven fours), the 21-year-old reached his ton in 429 minutes – nine more than the previous slowest, by Northamptonshire’s Billy Denton against Derbyshire in 1914.
Umeed frustrated Lancashire for more than a day but Steven Croft’s side will still fancy their chances of putting Warwickshire under pressure on the final day after Alex Davies’ forceful 79 (129 balls, 12 fours) increased the Red Rose momentum.
After Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 259 for seven, Umeed and Jeetan Patel (50, 86 balls, six fours) took their partnership to exactly 100 before falling in quick succession to Stephen Parry. The spinner’s first ball of the day had Patel stumped and then he drifted a lovely delivery inside Umeed’s defence to win an lbw decision.
Last-wicket pair George Panayi and Boyd Rankin supplied a bit of tail-wagging, hitting seven fours in a stand of 36 which ended when Jordan Clark uprooted Panayi’s off-stump to end with four for 81.
Lancashire sent in Jos Buttler to open in the second innings but he lifted his sixth ball, from Keith Barker, to mid-wicket.
But Davies added 53 in 24 overs with Haseeb Hameed and, after Hameed fell lbw to Rikki Clarke, 80 in 23 overs with Croft and those stands evened the match right up.
Rankin removed Davies and Croft, caught at mid-on and mid-wicket respectively, but Lancashire ended the day with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas still at the crease and plenty of power to add on the final morning.
Young opening batsman Andrew Umeed kept Warwickshire from further batting ruin with a marathon century against in-form Lancashire in the Specsavers County Championship at Edgbaston.
In reply to Lancashire’s 273, the home side reached 259 for seven by the close of the second day thanks largely to Umeed’s unbeaten 103 from 339 balls with six fours.
Against a Lancashire seam attack which bowled with impressive control all day, Umeed’s concentration was unwavering. The 21-year-old batted throughout the day, at the end of which his innings had lasted 434 minutes.
While partners came and went, Umeed dealt capably with the novel challenges of pink ball, day/night championship cricket, perhaps assisted by having played in last year’s trial 2nd XI game in those conditions against Worcestershire at Edgbaston – when he made 45 from 158 balls.
For a Warwickshire side with four innings defeats in six games this season, such stickability was priceless – though Lancashire’s bowlers, led by a big shift from James Anderson, kept their opponents under pressure all day.
After Warwickshire resumed in the morning on 23 for one, Umeed and Jonathan Trott took their stand to 74 in 29 overs before the latter fell lbw to a Jordan Clark delivery that stayed low. Clark then produced a superb ball to have Ian Bell caught behind for a fourth-ball duck.
Anderson removed Sam Hain for ten with a sharp return catch before Tim Ambrose, having batted positively for 19, attacked a wide ball from Clark and edged to Dane Vilas at first slip.
Anderson almost removed Umeed on 49 when the batsman edged but neither wicketkeeper nor first slip could make the catch and the ball squirted between them to raise the batsman’s half-century.
Rikki Clarke (26 in 104 balls) got stuck in alongside Umeed to grind out 49 in 30 overs but then Tom Bailey removed Clarke (bowled) and Keith Barker (lbw) with successive balls.
That left Warwickshire uneasily perched on 184 for seven and Lancashire eyeing a useful lead but Umeed and Jeetan Patel (36 not out, 59 balls) added an unbroken 75 up to the close. The admirable Umeed left the field, still unbowed, to a standing ovation and also grudging respect from the travelling Lancashire supporters, including a crotchety sheep-farmer from Clitheroe.
* Warwickshire have signed 22-year-old seam-bowling all-rounder Will Rhodes from Yorkshire on a two-year contract from the end of this season.
The innovation of day/night Specsavers County Championship cricket delivered enthralling fare at Edgbaston as in-form Lancashire encountered spirited resistance from struggling Warwickshire.
Having chosen to bat, the Red Rose, hunting their third successive win, was bowled out for 273 by a Warwickshire side which has lost four of its six games by an innings this season.
Lancashire hit early trouble at 55 for four but were salvaged by Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 76th first-class century – a fluent unbeaten 117 from 151 balls with 16 fours.
The 42-year-old dealt adroitly with a pink ball which behaved much as one of any other hue would do – which is, of course, the idea. With a good crowd in, the inaugural day of day/night championship cricket in Birmingham appeared to meet with general approval.
Lancashire started solidly with openers Alex Davies and Haseeb Hameed adding 43 but 19-year-old debutant seamer George Panayi engineered a breakthrough which triggered the loss off four wickets for 12 runs in 35 balls.
— Warwickshire CCC ? (@WarwickshireCCC) June 26, 2017
Panayi was rewarded for a promising first spell in county cricket, in which he pitched the ball up to tempt the batsmen, when Hameed chipped to Ian Bell at short mid-off. Davies (31, 53 balls, five fours) then ran himself out with a terrible call which was punished by Will Porterfield’s direct hit from mid-on.
Jos Buttler fell lbw, playing across the line, to Jeetan Patel before Steven Croft edged Boyd Rankin’s first ball to second slip.
Fifth-wicket pair Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas (44, 72 balls, six fours) halted the collapse with a stand of 96 in 20 overs in the second session before Vilas skied Rankin and wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose took a simple catch.
Ryan MacLaren (24, 60 balls) helped Chanderpaul add 68, then Keith Barker struck twice in four balls, having McLaren caught behind and trapping Jordan Clark lbw. The left-armer then struck again with a big inswinger to remove Stephen Parry lbw.
Still there was the implacable Chanderpaul and he added another 40 with Tom Bailey before Panayi returned to bowl Bailey and trap James Anderson first ball to finish with three for 41 and leave himself on a hat-trick in the second innings.
Faced with 13 overs in reply before the close, Warwickshire lost Porterfield, lbw to Anderson, in the fifth over, before closing on 23 for one.
* Former Warwickshire captain Ian Westwood has announced his retirement from first-class cricket with immediate effect. Westwood scoring 8,077 runs at 33.10 apiece with 16 centuries.