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Warwickshire hold slender lead over Lancashire in title hunt
4:22pm Wednesday 14th September 2011 in Lancashire CCC
Warwickshire were frustrated by Hampshire's Liam Dawson as they looked to take control of the LV= County Championship race on the penultimate day of the season, but three wickets in the morning session meant they still had their noses in front of Lancashire.
Having made 493 batting first, the table-topping Bears were looking for quick wickets but saw Jimmy Adams (33) and Dawson (79no) put on 93 for the first wicket at the Rose Bowl.
Chris Wright eventually removed Adams with the last ball of 14th over of the day, before Chris Metters had Michael Carberry caught at slip with only his third delivery.
Dawson progressed steadily at the other end but Irishman Boyd Rankin secured a first bowling point for Warwickshire by trapping Neil McKenzie lbw for 10, leaving Hampshire 137 for three and some distance from the result they would need to avoid relegation.
Lancashire, looking to claim their first title for 77 years, added 91 runs for the loss of three wickets in their game against Somerset at Taunton.
That took them to 356 for six - in sight of maximum batting points and just 24 short of their opponents' first-innings mark.
Steven Croft posted 54 and Tom Smith 28 before falling, but the Red Rose may be buoyed by Murali Kartik's figures of four for 85 given that they will be looking to spin for their second-innings wickets.
Durham remain distant third favourites for the trophy but were busy compiling a lead against Worcestershire at Chester-le-Street.
They put on 147 runs in a busy first session, losing three wickets along the way as they looked to force the pace.
Michael Di Venuto made 55 and Mark Stoneman 46no, but former England man Paul Collingwood (24) fell on the pull to Kemar Roach.
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