Lancashire coach Peter Moores was left frustrated by his side’s draw with Gloucestershire but insists an early declaration could have proven counter-productive.
The Red Rose remain unbeaten in LV=County Championship division two this season but have only managed two wins from their six matches so far.
And Moores defended the decision not to declare earlier, despite running out of time in their bid to bowl Gloucestershire out, with the visitors finishing the final day 173-9.
“We thought about it but we knew we’d bowl more overs at them than the minimum and we wanted to keep our attacking fields,” he told Lancashire’s official website.
“If we’d declared overnight and bowled 99 overs at them, we’d have been asking them to score at three and a bit runs an over, that’s all.
“By batting for six overs, it meant that we could keep attacking fields all day and we backed ourselves to bowl them out in that time.”
Lancashire posted 310 in their first innings, thanks in no small part to 96 from former Australian Test opener Simon Katich.
Katich and Steven Croft put on a century partnership for the fifth wicket after the hosts had slumped to 90-4, with the latter making 62.
Kyle Hogg made a useful lower-order contribution of 45, while last-man Simon Kerrigan remained unbeaten on 21.
And it was the Preston-born spinner who was the standout bowler as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 222 in their first innings, recording figures of 5-68 as Alex Gidman made 110.
Ashwell Prince and wicketkeeper Gareth Cross top-scored for the Old Trafford club in their second innings, each making 64 in a total of 270.
This set Gloucestershire an unlikely victory target of 359 on the fourth day which went down to the wire as the Bristol-based county held out for a dramatic draw.
Gidman and in particular Hamish Marshall dug in for Gloucestershire as Glen Chapple, Andrea Agathangelou, Hogg and Kerrigan all shared two-wicket apiece to set up a rousing finale.
Agathangelou had George McCarter caught by Chapple off the penultimate ball of the day, leaving Liam Norwell to survive the final delivery which he duly did.
And despite accepting a win would have been hugely beneficial in their pursuit of Northamptonshire at the division’s summit, Moores was philosophical about the outcome.
“We’d have loved to have got one more wicket and got over the line as the way the points are structured it’s a massive swing,” he said.
“But we have to take it on the chin and give Gloucestershire credit because I thought they batted well.
“They had a couple of key partnerships which really slowed us down – Gidman and Marshall just sat there and kept the game calm.”
Meanwhile, Lancs’ one-day hopes took a blow with a 39-run defeat to Durham, with Kabir Ali scoring a quick-fire 50 in an under-par score of 258 all out.
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