Captain Glen Chapple recorded the third best analysis of his first-class career to help Lancashire into a strong position at the end of the first day of their County Championship match with Worcestershire at New Road today.
The 35 year-old finished with 6-34 from 17 overs to help bowl the visitors out for just 167 in 47.3 overs. New ball partner Sajid Mahmood, who returned to the side in place of Oliver Newby following England Lions duty, returned figures of 4-65 from 17.3 overs.
Lancashire, who were asked to field first, then replied with 172-5 from 46 overs, mainly thanks to Mark Chilton’s unbeaten 51 and Steven Croft’s entertaining 43 to lead by five runs. See the highlights tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV
“We got the wickets we wanted, we have just moved into the lead with five wickets down, so we are happy with the position we are in,” said Chapple.
“I thought after lunch I bowled really well with Saj, we were happy with that. Before lunch we could all have done better, but the results were coming. It’s not a fantastic batting track, but we were rattling along at five or six runs an over at one stage. The ball is doing a bit, and it’s just a case of getting as many runs as you can.”
Chapple’s first scalp was that of Stephen Moore, who was caught at short-leg by Chilton for a golden duck in the third over. Daryl Mitchell was trapped lbw in the eleventh over for nine, reducing the scoreboard to 26-2, and Ben Smith was well caught by Ashwell Prince at third slip for one in the 13th over.
The country’s leading run-scorer Vikram Solanki was Mahmood’s first scalp, caught behind down the leg-side by Luke Sutton for 22. But then Moeen Ali and Steven Davies shared a fifth wicket partnership of 88, Davies flicking Tom Smith for six backward of square on the leg-side,on his way to taking his side to 115-4 at lunch.
Chapple then claimed the wickets of wicketkeeper Davies (48), Gareth Batty and Moeen (35) in three consecutive overs after lunch to leave the hosts 133-7. Davies was trapped lbw, Batty was bowled and Moeen caught behind by Luke Sutton. Mahmood later replicated that feat by removing Whelan, Matt Mason and Gareth Andrew in the 44th, 46th and 48th overs. Whelan was caught well by Prince at third slip, Mason caught behind and Gareth Andrew caught and bowled off a top edge.
“It’s nice to get a five-for early in the season because everybody needs confidence, including me,” assessed Chapple.
That was the end of Worcester’s first innings, but not the end of the clatter of wickets. Paul Horton’s run of low scores in the Championship so far this season continued when he was trapped lbw for five in the fourth over of the Lancashire innings. The 26 year-old opener had been dropped by Moeen at short-leg in the second.
In-form South African Prince cracked three boundaries off Whelan’s third over, but was caught behind off a rising delivery down the leg-side in his next. And then Tom Smith, who had hit the two previous balls for four, was adjudged lbw by umpire John Steele in Whelan’s next for 22.
Francois du Plessis was the fourth Lancashire batsman on his way back to the tent, quite literally a tent because of the redevelopments currently taking place here, when he was caught behind by Davies off the bowling of Imran Arif. It was the second ball after tea, and Lancs were 73-4.
Chilton and Steven Croft shared an entertaining fifth wicket stand of 68 in 14 overs, with Croft the dominant force as he hit seven boundaries in a 51-ball innings. But the 24 year-old from Blackpool was dismissed by Mason, trapped lbw playing back to a ball which kept low and Lancs were 141-5 in the 29th over of their innings.
Chilton reached his third Championship half-century of the season in the last over of the day, off 116 balls with five fours, while he will be joined by Sutton (eight not out) in the morning. “I don’t think either side made the best use of the new ball, but our lads were playing some good shots,” continued Chapple. “The frustrating thing is that wickets are falling, and we would have batted first. The pitch looks like it will deteriorate, so the first use of it was the way forward.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd