Nail-biting defiance by Ambrose keeps Lancashire at bay
Lancashire 189 & 380 Warwickshire 280 & 217-8 (Match drawn)
Friday 05 August 2011
Draws in the Championship have become an occurrence some would describe as mercifully rare owing to the combination of a dry summer and the increased points value of a win, but there is still honour in the hard-fought avoidance of defeat and Warwickshire deserved every credit for keeping Lancashire at bay here yesterday, even if they did enjoy help from the weather.
A showery morning after a wet night meant only 31 balls were bowled before 1.15pm and there was another interruption in the afternoon. Nonetheless, Warwickshire still had to face 68 overs on a pitch taking spin and against arguably the best exploiter of such conditions on the circuit in Gary Keedy.
In the end it was enthrallingly close as Warwickshire, who had seemed safe at 217 for 6 entering what they thought was the last over, lost two wickets in five balls to the part-time off-spinner Steven Croft and were then told there was time within the limits of the mandatory last hour for another over.
Tim Ambrose, the former England wicketkeeper who was their saviour, ultimately, with an unbeaten 66, can seldom have been confronted with eight close fielders as well as his opposite number as Keedy wheeled in.
But after two blocks, a sweep, a rejected lbw appeal, a leg-side leave and another soft-handed dead bat, it was all over and Ambrose, after two hours and 17 minutes, had survived.
The draw, then, was well deserved, the more so because Warwickshire had been in no way negative, at least until it was perfectly reasonable to be so. At the start, when they potentially had 75 overs to chase 290 to win the match themselves, they sent in Neil Carter, their one-day opener, to take on the new ball, and he and Varun Chopra cracked on with intent.
But after rattling along at almost five an over without giving Lancashire a sniff, their ambitions were curtailed when they lost four wickets for 20 runs in seven overs, including Chopra off an uncharacteristically ugly slash.
That it took Lancashire 27 more overs to make further inroads was down to Ambrose and Laurie Evans, who showed exceptional concentration for almost two hours before edging Kyle Hogg to second slip. Six overs remained when Rikki Clarke became Keedy's third victim at 210 for 6, but Ambrose kept his nerve and his side the draw.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
How Real Madrid started copying Barcelona's old pass masters, and began reaping the rewards
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Arsenal player ratings
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'