Lancashire's bowlers produced another good performance to put the Red Rose back in contention in this fascinating LV County Championship match at Old Trafford.
Lancashire will require another 224 runs to win their third Championship match of the season, and their second against Worcestershire, tomorrow after another entertaining day’s cricket.
See the highlights tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV
The two sides are locked in a tight battle after two days on a pacey track. Eighteen wickets fell on day one and 12 on day two. Worcestershire were bowled out for 236 in their second innings, having already gained a first innings lead of 27, and they have set the hosts 264 for victory.
Paul Horton (13) and Mal Loye (16) negotiated 13 overs before close, and reached 40-0. It promises to be a fascinating third day tomorrow.
“It was brilliant, especially the way Horts played,” said Kyle Hogg, who earlier completed career best match figures of 6-79 from 31 overs. He claimed 3-53 from 19 in the Worcester second innings.
“It was good to see him (Horton) spend time at the crease. Hopefully he can go on tomorrow. We need one good partnership of around a hundred.”
Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy was the pick of the home bowlers with 4-60 from 17.1 overs to add to Hogg’s effort, while Sajid Mahmood also claimed 2-42 from 16.
“Keeds was struggling with his finger, we weren't too sure whether he was going to bowl or not,” continued Hogg. We were doing some weights yesterday, he dropped it onto his spinning finger, and sliced it open. He taped it up, and asked Vikram Solanki if he could keep it on. He agreed. If he had said no he would have been struggling to grip it.
“Today was a massive day for us. We needed to bowl well. They got a good partnership going with Moore, he played well. We stuck in there all day, and the wickets came in a clump.”
Worcester pace bowler Matt Mason earlier completed superb figures of 7-39 from 17 to bowl the hosts out for 145 in their first innings. The Australian picked up the two remaining Lancashire wickets this morning, those of Oliver Newby and Glen Chapple. The Lancashire skipper was the last man out for an invaluable innings of 44.
Mahmood was the early pick of the Lancashire bowlers, claiming the wicket of Daryl Mitchell before lunch and roughing up the likes of Moore, Solanki and Ben Smith afterwards.
But Moore, who has top scored in the match by 63 runs so far, and Smith added 79 for the third wicket to dampen the enthusiasm of the Red Rose. That was until Keedy took two wickets in two overs, those of Smith (28) and Moeen Ali, to leave the score at 143-4.
It sparked Lancashire into life. Steven Davies was brilliantly run out by Steven Croft from cover before Moore was bowled by Hogg, who had earlier trapped Solanki lbw before lunch.
The wicket of Moore was the first of two in four balls for Hogg as he had Gareth Batty caught behind by Luke Sutton. Worcester went into tea at 200-7.
“The wicket has flattened out,” continued Hogg. “The swing wasn't there as it was yesterday. It was a case of everyone grinding it out, bowling well together. The wicket was a lot better, you had to work a lot harder.”
Mahmood claimed his second wicket of the innings eight overs after the break when Ashley Noffke edged to VVS Laxman at second slip. And Keedy polished off the visiting tail when he had Chris Whelan caught in the covers and bowled Mason.
There were no real alarms for Horton and Loye before close, and they will be hoping that remains the case deep into tomorrow.
Hogg added: “It will be massive. We are still fourth in the Championship, and we haven’t played that well really. If we win we can go to Edgbaston full of confidence. We have really bowled well this season, it has just been a case of getting some runs to back it up.”
[Day 1 Report]
Photos: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd