Warwickshire 106 & 272 Lancashire 311 & 71-1 (Lancs win by nine wkts): Lancashire's impossible dream now close to reality

Lancashire moved six points clear at the top of the County Championship table when they polished off Warwickshire by nine wickets here yesterday. Their fifth win of the season came when the openers Mark Chilton and Paul Horton chased down a second-innings target of 68. If captain Chilton and Co can beat mid-table Surrey at The Oval, starting next Wednesday, they will be confirmed as champions for the first time since 1934.

Warwickshire, who look likely to be relegated, began the third day on 125 for 2 – still 80 runs behind in the second innings. They showed a good deal of fight in the afternoon and evening sessions of day two but when Trott was trapped leg before by Glen Chapple in just the third over of the day the writing was pretty much on the wall. Trott went without adding to his overnight score before Oliver Newby bowled Luke Parker, Dominic Cork (2 for 19) removed Tim Ambrose and Ant Botha, and Chapple picked up his second by forcing Heath Streak to edge behind.

That left the visitors on 212 for 7 as the all-rounder Alex Loudon tried his best to rescue the situation with a useful half-century.

Neil Carter had Paul Horton caught behind by Tim Ambrose to leave Lancashire at 29 for 1. But the home captain Chilton (20) was helped along by Steven Croft (22) to chase down the total inside 23 overs.

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