Nail-biting defiance by Ambrose keeps Lancashire at bay

Lancashire 189 & 380 Warwickshire 280 & 217-8 (Match drawn)

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli (left) trudges off at half-time last night, to be substituted during the interval
football
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?