Horton's century steers Lancs to face-saving draw

Warwickshire 557-6 Lancashire 197 & 343-5 (Match drawn)

edgbaston

Could this be the turning point in Lancashire's season? Beaten three times in the first five matches of their title defence, the 2011 county champions escaped with a draw that scarcely seemed possible when they were forced to follow on, 360 behind, midway through the third day.

It still appeared unlikely on the final morning, given that they had lost eight wickets in the course of Friday and somehow needed to preserve their remaining seven on a pitch, you supposed, that would be at its least benign.

Escape they did, however, and their coach, Peter Moores, will wring out of it every ounce of positivity between now and Lancashire's next Championship match, against Middlesex at Liverpool on Wednesday. That promises at last to be played in weather something like that which they enjoyed when they were getting off to a flyer at the start of last season.

At the heart of their survival was Paul Horton, who answered Lancashire's call with a fine century, maintaining a vigil that stretched to more than seven and a half hours, at the end of which he was 137 not out.

Given Warwickshire's dominance until the final day, it was particularly merit worthy, not least because Horton had gone more than two years since his last Championship century and had been out four times in the 90s last season, which only added to the pressure on him.

Warwickshire lead the First Division, yet will kick themselves that they missed a chance to complete a double over the side who pipped them to the title last year, given that they had them 54 for five on Thursday evening and on the brink of defeat yesterday morning. Lancashire were helped by the weather, delaying the resumption until 11.45, and reached lunch with only one more wicket lost after Steven Croft was caught at second slip in the seventh of the 84 overs left.

But Horton, carrying extra responsibility after Stephen Moore, Karl Brown and Ashwell Prince were out on Friday, had stuck to his task, adding only nine runs to his 56 overnight but more importantly preserving his wicket. He did not do it alone after lunch, finding support from Luke Procter, who made 27 and Gareth Cross, who was as steadfast as Horton in finishing unbeaten on 75.

They played Jeetan Patel's off-spin well and survived a hostile spell from Rikki Clarke, who was convinced he had Horton caught behind off the glove on 78, only for umpire Martin Bodenham to remain unmoved. Patel found some turn, but a pitch that had offered the batsmen a pleasant change from the bowler-friendly surfaces that have been prevalent held together well.

"It was a good effort to force a team to follow on on a good pitch," said Warwickshire's director of cricket, Ashley Giles. "But Lancashire are a good side even though they have had a difficult start to the season. It was a fine innings from Paul Horton and we couldn't have done much different.

"We are not getting ahead of ourselves in terms of thinking about the title but if we are still in contention come the run-in we will feel we have a good chance. It feels like a win in a way because we showed the fight we know we are capable of and because it denied Warwickshire a win, which means its is a significant result."

Suggested Topics
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game