Ambrose denies Lancashire
Title challengers share the spoils at Aigburth
Last Updated: 04/08/11 6:59pm
Ambrose: Match-saving innings
Lancashire's LV=County Championship match against Warwickshire at Liverpool ended in a draw, but only after a late flurry of wickets just failed to secure a dramatic victory for the home side.
Needing to score 290 off 75 overs, later reduced by rain to only 67, Jim Troughton's side finished on 217-8 with Tim Ambrose defending Gary Keedy's final over and finishing on a match-saving 66 not out.
The Bears wicketkeeper shared a 68-run fifth-wicket partnership with Laurie Evans, who made a 92-ball 30 before falling to Kyle Hogg.
The stand seemed to have taken the steam out of Lancashire's push for victory, especially when Ambrose then added a further 50 for the sixth wicket with Rikki Clarke, who gave Keedy his third wicket when he edged him to Paul Horton six overs before the close.
Chris Woakes and Jeetan Patel were then both bowled by off-spinner Steven Croft in the penultimate over of the match to raise home supporters' hopes of an unlikely win, but Ambrose held firm.
Keedy finished with 3-53 and Croft 2-10. The draw is the first in 10 matches at Aigburth since 2004 and it leaves Lancashire still in third place in the Division One table.
Warwickshire drop to fourth after Somerset's victory over Sussex, but the three teams chasing Durham are covered by only nine points.
Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke equalled the world record for catches taken by an outfielder during day three of the Championship match against Lancashire.
Clarke took seven catches in the hosts' second innings - including the first six wickets to fall - and will have a chance to beat the world record on Thursday morning.
Clarke snared Paul Horton, Stephen Moore, Mark Chilton, Steven Croft and Karl Brown in his usual second slip berth and Tom Smith when fielding as the only slip to spinner Jeetan Patel.
But the record-equalling catch came after switching to leg slip, Clarke running backwards to catch a top-edged slog-sweep by Sajid Mahmood. That equalled the mark set by Surrey's Micky Stewart against Northamptonshire in 1957 and Tony Brown for Gloucestershire against Nottinghamshire in 1966 - and Wally Hammond's 1928 match record of 10.
Lancashire recovered from 84-3 - still seven runs in deficit - to 374-9 at the close, largely thanks to a stand of 208 for the fourth wicket between Stephen Croft (122) and Karl Brown (91).
With one wicket remaining, Clarke could break the record on day four but told Sky Sports News: "I'll sleep fine, the main thing is the team get the last wicket and wrap it up soon - I'd rather they declare to be honest!"
On the Mahmood skier that gave him his seventh catch, he said: "A couple could have caught it but I called for it, caught it and then found out I'd equalled the world record."
Chris Woakes proved his all-round ability to help Warwickshire gain a useful first-innings lead over fellow title-contenders Lancashire at Liverpool.
After claiming three wickets to help skittle Lancashire for 189 on day one, Woakes produced a vital knock of 60 to help push his side 91 runs clear after the first innings.
Lancashire then reduced that margin slightly as they reached 32 without loss at the close, but they were left ruing Woakes' resistance after he walked to the crease at 133-5.
The 22-year-old has developed a reputation for his big-hitting but he dug in studiously for 112 balls to slowly turn the tide the visitors' way.
He was finally dismissed by veteran spinner Gary Keedy, en route to innings-best figures of 3-48, but by then Warwickshire had already edged ahead.
Late hitting from Jeetan Patel (28 from 31 balls) then ensured they had a decent first innings lead.
But Paul Horton and Stephen Moore put on a watchful 32 in 16 overs for the hosts to set up a crucial third day for both counties.
Neil Carter took career-best figures of 6-30 as Warwickshire dominated a rain-hit first day of their top-of-the-table clash with Lancashire at Liverpool.
The left-arm seamer, making his first LV= County Championship appearance of the season, took the last six wickets of Lancashire's first innings in just 8.5 overs as the hosts collapsed from 101-2 to 189 all out.
Carter was not introduced into the attack until the 31st over when Lancashire were 131-4, but he made a crucial breakthrough by removing top-scorer Stephen Moore (76) with his first ball.
He followed that up with a brilliant one-handed caught-and-bowled to remove Gareth Cross for a duck and also dismissed skipper Glen Chapple, caught in the gully, and Sajid Mahmood, lbw, with successive balls.
Tom Smith and Kyle Hogg offered some late resistance with a 31-run ninth-wicket stand but Carter responded by claiming both left-handers' wickets in successive overs to finish the innings off.
Warwickshire reached 30-1 by the close, with Varun Chopra (14) the only man to fall on a wicket which offering help to the seamers.