WORCESTERSHIRE and Warwickshire had to settle for solid points from a derby draw in their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.

It was the fifth draw in their opening five games to start the 2021 season for Worcestershire, who remain in third in Group One.

The loss of the entire third day to rain left the contest beyond salvage as it drifted to a draw on the final day in Birmingham.

Worcestershire, in reply to the home side’s 343 all out, declared their first innings on 364 for eight with Jack Haynes striking a career-best 87 (211 balls, 12 fours) and Ed Barnard making an unbeaten 76 (101 balls, ten fours).

The Bears then made 70 for three in their second innings before hands were shaken at ten to five. The draw leaves both sides still well in contention for a top-two finish in Group A at the halfway stage.

After Worcestershire resumed on the final on 198 for four, Tim Bresnan struck with the fifth ball of the day which Rikki Wessels edged to Sam Hain at second slip.

Ben Cox’s perky 23 was ended by an lbw decision from an Olly Hannon-Dalby in-ducker. The same bowler was then unlucky not to win another lbw shout against Haynes on 64, but the 20-year-old survived and continued to show impressive concentration.

Haynes, playing his first game of the season, was within 13 runs of a deserved maiden century when he perished in the unluckiest fashion, run out at the non-striker’s end.

The wicket signalled a burst of aggression from the visitors as they sought another batting point. Alzarri Joseph hit his first ball, from Danny Briggs, for six, on the way to a brisk 17 before lifting the spinner to long on.

Ed Barnard completed his impressive match, adding an unbeaten half-century to his three wickets, before the declaration arrived with Worcestershire 21 ahead and 53 overs left in the match.

When Warwickshire went in again, Rob Yates soon nicked an unplayable ball from Joe Leach to the wicketkeeper. Pieter Malan moved fluently to 28 (31 balls) before edging Joseph’s fifth ball to second slip.

Will Rhodes (25, 84 balls) sliced Joseph’s 30th ball to point, where Barnard took a fine diving catch. Hain (six not out in 50 minutes) and Matt Lamb then played out the remaining overs before the players bumped fists.