Lancashire slid to a ten-wicket LV= County Championship defeat against Worcestershire following a second innings batting collapse sparked by the experienced seamer Alan Richardson.
The former Derbyshire, Middlesex and Warwickshire bowler was superb as he took 6-22 from 15 overs to help his side to a ten-wicket win at New Road well inside two days.
After the Red Rose county had restricted their hosts to a first innings score of 237 before lunch today, which amounted to a lead of 76, they then slumped to just 80 all out inside 31 overs.
It was Lancashire’s fourth defeat of the season, and they only claimed three points.
Coach Peter Moores said: “We’ve batted poorly in both innings, so we’ve got no complaints.
“The pitch had a little bit in it. There was a little bit of uneven bounce, but we probably lost five wickets in the two innings to full, straight balls. You can’t afford to do that.
“We’ve won some great games this season, we’ve won some tight games. This time we just didn’t play very well. We didn’t get one significant partnership in the game. If we had got a lead of 150, I think it would have been an interesting game.”
The visitors had to do without opening batsman Stephen Moore for day two after the opening batsman was released from duty to be by the side of his wife, who gave birth to a baby girl this afternoon.
Richardson’s figures were his best for his county, and Kemar Roach chipped in with 3-44 from 8.2 overs as his express pace troubled a whole host of Lancashire batsmen.
Richardson trapped Mark Chilton, opening the batting in place of Moore, Karl Brown, Tom Smith, Gareth Cross and Steven Croft lbw after starting the collapse by getting Paul Horton caught behind.
Horton top-scored with 21 as Smith, Croft, Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg were the only other players to reach double figures.
Roach bowled Chapple and Sajid Mahmood with successive balls in the 27th over, getting rid of Hogg the same way.
Lancashire lost all nine wickets for 60 runs after reaching 20-0 before lunch. And this is now the seventh time in the last 12 Championship innings that they have been bowled out for less than 200.
Moore left New Road before play today to travel back to Manchester ahead of the birth of his first child, but was en-route back to the Midlands when he got word that Lancashire had been bowled out.
“Babies take precedent over cricket matches, which should be the case. He’s got a little baby girl,” said Moores. “The baby was due on Sunday. Most first babies come late, but we thought we’d get away with it.
“It’s a risk you run, but he wasn’t far off being back with us. He was on his way. The baby was born this afternoon, and that’s a plus out of the day.”
Earlier, Chapple completed figures of 4-58 from 21.5 overs, taking three of the last four wickets to fall after Worcester had started the day on 209-6.
After Hogg had Ben Scott (45) caught behind, Chapple trapped Richard Jones, bowled Roach and bowled James Cameron for a well made 98.
The Lancashire squad will now have three days off before returning to training on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s penultimate clash with Hampshire at Liverpool.
They will have to wait until Saturday to know exactly where they stand in the title race because matches involving rivals Warwickshire, Durham and Somerset are still in play.
Day 1 Report
Phot (c) EMPICS Sport
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd