Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg combined to help Lancashire take control of their County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road after two days.
Chapple belted 89 to back up his six wickets and Kyle Hogg also dazzled in the Midlands, hitting 60 and taking two wickets. The pair shared an invaluable eighth wicket partnership of 123 in 28 overs to help present their side with an imposing first innings lead of 180 in the middle of the afternoon.
Worcestershire were then reduced to 129-3 in their second innings at close – they still trail by 51 runs – as Sajid Mahmood claimed the other wicket to fall. See the highlights tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV
“It was very important for us to get a good partnership so that we could get a lead,” said Hogg, who spent a month on loan with Worcestershire in 2007. “The pitch is starting to go up and down a bit. The runs were very important.
“The way me and Chappie both play, we batted for at least a session and took the game away from them. We have got players in our team who are dogged, people like Luke (Sutton) and Chilly (Mark Chilton) can bat all day. If me and Chappie play the way we can, then we will score quite quickly.”
Chilton fell early on this morning, caught at second slip by Daryl Mitchell off the bowling of Matt Mason for 55. Sutton followed, bowled by Mason, to leave the visitors at 181-7 in the 53rd over of their innings. But Chapple and Hogg dominated the home bowlers to ensure Lancashire gained three valuable batting bonus points. At 181-7, that looked an unlikely prospect on a pitch still providing some help for the bowlers.
Hogg hit seven fours and one six in his 110-ball stay at the crease, while Chapple bashed 13 fours and a maximum in his 105-ball knock.
Afterwards Hogg said: “Peter (Moores) keeps telling me that I have got to think like a batsman because I have got the ability to bat. If you are going to bat for long enough, I am going to score runs.”
Worcs' Chris Whelan finished with career best figures of 5-95 from 25 overs to bowl Lancashire out for 347, three runs short of a fourth batting bonus point. Chapple was the last man out, caught on the third-man boundary by Mason off the bowling of Imran Arif as he tried to uppercut the seamer for six.
Worcester had their backs firmly against the wall as they desperately searched for a way back into the game, and opening pair Stephen Moore and Mitchell guided the score to 40-0 at tea.
But Hogg continued his stellar day by forcing Mitchell to edge to Tom Smith at second slip for 20 in the third over after the break, leaving the hosts at 42-1. Hogg made good use of the helpful conditions, having numerous lbw appeals turned down.
Moore reached his first half-century of the season in the 30th over of the innings, off 90 balls with seven fours and one six, before being bowled by Hogg with a ball that kept low and nipped back. The England Lions batsman, who had hooked Hogg for a maximum, was on his way for 53, and Worcester were 81-2.
Captain Vikram Solanki (35) and Ben Smith then shared exactly 50 for the third wicket before the former had his off pole rocked back by Mahmood to leave the score at 121-3 in the 44th over.
Smith will resume tomorrow morning unbeaten on 14, while Moeen Ali is six not out.
Hogg finished the day with impressive bowling figures of 2-36 from 13 overs: “It was probably the most I have bowled in first-class cricket for a while,” he said. “I have just been used to bowling in one-day cricket. I really enjoyed it, and I think that showed in my bowling.
“We would have liked to have had them at least four or five down by close, but hopefully we will get the rewards in the morning for today’s hard effort.”
[Day 1 Report]
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd