County Championship (at Edgbaston): Warwickshire 557-6 dec (R Clarke 123 no, V Chopra 113 T R Ambrose 96, I J Westwood 70) v Lancashire 197 (A G Prince 87 no) & 343-5 (P J Horton 137 no, G D Cross 75 no)
Warwickshire (9pts) drew with Lancashire (4pts)
Ashley Giles had no complaints after Warwickshire were thwarted by Lancashire’s last-day rearguard action at Edgbaston on Saturday.
After enforcing the follow-on, the Bears just needed to take the last seven wickets on the final day to complete the double over the champions.
But a bowling attack which has shone brightly this season was denied by a flat pitch and a resolute century from Paul Horton. The opening batsman finished unbeaten on 137 from 362 balls after a vigil spanning seven hours 34 minutes.
His work meant the Bears had to settle for a draw but they returned to the top of Division One, two points clear of Nottinghamshire with a game in hand.
And director of cricket Giles admitted his bowlers had just come up against an innings which deserved to save the match.
“I don’t think we could have done anything different,” he said.
“We bowled really well throughout the game. Myself and Graeme Welch were sitting there asking ourselves ‘what more could we have done?’ but there wasn’t anything. Paul Horton played very well.
“It was a good batting wicket. We thought it might break up a bit and maybe go up and down a little bit more and spin but it was a very good deck.
“But I can’t knock anything the lads did.
"The seamers put the effort in all through. At the end we had to bowl spin because it was getting dark and we wanted to stay out there as long as we could, but all the big lads bowled very well and Jeetan spins the ball but wasn’t getting a lot out of the surface, which just shows it was a pretty good deck.
“When Jeetan had a change of ends a couple of balls did something and you just need one of those to go your way and it can be a different game.
"You have a guy in there who has a hundred and if he gets out you can put pressure on the tail end but to bat through like he did shows the quality of his innings.”
Despite a day of frustration, Warwickshire’s morale remains high as they prepare to face Surrey at The Oval on Wednesday.
“The guys were disappointed not to win,” Giles said, “but the way Lancashire celebrated a draw shows it means a lot to draw against us, which is a good feeling.
“They had the better of the last day in batting out for the draw but we dominated much of the game and played some very good cricket and should take a lot of positives going down to The Oval.
“It would have been nice to be top with a game in hand and a few more points but you can always be greedy. We are top with a game in hand and a big game coming up against Surrey.”