Worcs lower-order use window wisely
Lancashire 10 for 0 trail Worcestershire 251 (Pinner 82, Chapple 4-60) by 241 runs
Worcestershire's lower-order batsmen made the most of a window in the weather late in the third day against relegation rivals Lancashire at New Road. The match was at standstill for more than five hours before Gareth Andrew and Ben Scott came out to add 27 runs and lever their side up to 251 for 7.
Scott (14 not out) twice drove Kyle Hogg for four and when Andrew (12 not out) clipped the same bowler backward of square to register a second bonus point, Daryl Mitchell called his side in. With 27 balls still available before the 110-over cut-off, his declaration denied Lancashire an opportunity to try for the two wickets they needed for a third bowling point but Paul Horton and his new opening partner, Luke Procter, negotiated seven overs to the close.
Allrounder Procter, promoted to the top of the order after Stephen Moore was left out, nudged the only boundary off Chris Russell as they made 10 without loss. Where the game goes from here depends on whether the captains are prepared to strike a deal. Otherwise the last day is set to be a battle for bonus points.
Only eight overs were squeezed in before lunch but that was enough to dash Worcestershire batsman Neil Pinner's hopes of making a maiden century some 15 months after being dismissed for a duck in his only previous Championship innings.
Resuming on 79, the 21-year-old, who has been playing for Kidderminster Victoria in the Birmingham League, confidently clipped Glen Chapple's third ball for two but this was the only action before a shower stopped play after two overs. After a 35-minute delay, Pinner added a single in the first over but 21 dot balls were logged before Worcestershire added another run.
For Pinner, that proved to be the end of the road after batting for nearly four hours. As on Saturday, when he was out for 98 in Kidderminster's game at Himley, a three-figure score eluded him. Having played so well, hitting 11 boundaries from 190 balls, he was leg-before for 82 when moving across his stumps as he shaped to turn a delivery from Chapple off his pads.
It was a well-deserved success for Chapple, Lancashire's 38-year-old captain, who eventually got through 31 overs with a return 4 for 60. Like his new-ball partner, Hogg (2 for 63), he beat the bat often enough to merit even better figures.