Rain thwarts Warwickshire as nearest rivals close in

Olly Stone successfully appeals for a wicket Getty Images

Warwickshire 310 and 28 for 1 lead Durham 292 (Stone 7-59) by 46 runs

Warwickshire's attempt to press for victory were thwarted by the weather on day three of their Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Edgbaston.

After heading into lunch on 28 for one, a lead of 46, rain started towards the end of the interval and continued throughout the day.

The umpires did see an improvement as a 3.20pm inspection was called, but the weather deteriorated and no further play was possible meaning 70 overs in total had been lost.

That will surely cause frustration for Warwickshire as promotion rivals Sussex have already won and Kent sit in a strong position again Northants.

Jeetan Patel's side must now bat aggressively in the morning to set-up a Durham run chase and unlikely victory with only 96 overs available on the final day.

The day started under blue skies with the visitors resuming on 224 for 7, 86 behind.

Olly Stone immediately exposed the tail by bowling Paul Collingwood first ball of the morning for 38, but any Warwickshire expectation of a sizeable first innings lead diminished as Barry McCarthy and Salisbury put on a resolute 42 between them.

McCarthy was eventually dismissed, trapped lbw to Chris Wright for 43, but Durham were buoyed as they made inroads to the first innings total set.

Chris Rushworth, the last man in, supported Salisbury in another valuable 26-run partnership before Stone struck with his seventh wicket to remove the stubborn number ten, who'd made a career-best 38, and bowl Durham out for 292.

With conditions darkening, the Bears faced eleven overs before the interval and they saw opener Will Rhodes trapped lbw by Rushworth for 16.

Durham 4th innings Partnerships

1st9AZ LeesCT Steel
2nd16WR SmithCT Steel
3rd8WR SmithG Clark
4th22MJ RichardsonG Clark
5th9G ClarkAR Patel
6th33PD CollingwoodAR Patel
7th2PD CollingwoodSW Poynter
8th3SW PoynterBJ McCarthy
9th13SW PoynterMET Salisbury