Worcestershire v Lancashire, New Road, 3rd day

Lancs close in despite another Moeen ton

August 24, 2013

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Worcestershire 287 and 166 for 5 (Moeen 101*) lead Lancashire 441 (Smith 84, Procter 76) by 12 runs
Scorecard


Moeen Ali goes down the ground on his way to a half-century, Lancashire v Worcestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Old Trafford, 1st day, April 10, 2013
Moeen Ali added a second century in the match © PA Photos
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Lancashire look poised to take another step towards promotion from the Division Two, despite the best efforts of Worcestershire batsman Moeen Ali on day three at New Road.

The England Lions left-hander became the first batsman to score two hundreds in a match for Worcestershire for three years as they limped to 166 for 5, a slender lead of 12 after Lancashire had made 441 in their first innings. With one day of the match remaining, it would appear Worcestershire's hopes rest solely on Moeen's shoulders.

The home side were quickly in trouble, with Kyle Hogg having Matt Pardoe caught behind, while Lancashire captain Glen Chapple had his opposite number Daryl Mitchell lbw inside the first eight overs.

Moeen shrugged off the double blow and looked a class apart as he accelerated to a half-century while taking 18 runs from an over by rookie offspinner Arron Lilley. Although more conservative at the beginning of his second 50, he picked up the tempo again in reaching the close on 101 not out with 11 fours and three sixes from 142 balls.

Thilan Samaraweera, Tom Fell and Ross Whiteley gave him some support but further wickets for Tom Smith, Chapple and Lilley edged Lancashire closer to a seventh win in 12 games.

Earlier they secured maximum batting points for the first time in the campaign as Smith brought his injury-hit season to life with 84 from 125 balls and Luke Procter reeled off a fourth consecutive half-century. Worcestershire's bowlers failed to maintain any level of intensity when Smith and Procter added 136 in 35 overs.

It proved to be no advantage at all when Simon Katich, having raced to a century in 86 balls on the previous afternoon, steered Jack Shantry's first delivery of the day straight to Samaraweera at gully. With the Australian gone for 105, there was not much between the teams on the scoreboard but the game quickly ran away from Worcestershire as Smith, in particular, found his range against some wayward bowling.

The allrounder's first half-century of the summer came up in only 75 balls and by lunch Lancashire were in the driving seat with a lead of 116. Procter's rich run of form took him to 76 before a miscontrolled shot off his legs sparked a quick wrap-up with the new ball, Alan Richardson and Graeme Cessford taking the last four wickets in 45 minutes after lunch.

Shantry did well to hold a low chance from Procter at wide mid-on off Richardson and wicketkeeper Ben Cox picked up three catches, the best when he stretched to his right to reach Smith's leg-side deflection off Cessford (4 for 73).

Richardson had to bowl 33 overs - twice as many as Cessford - for a return of 4 for 102 which put him on 49 Championship wickets for the season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by siltbreeze on (August 25, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

@SDH Agreed, at 26 this was a really important season for him, and an average in the mid-70s is quite a statement. Must be ahead of Samit Patel now in top order batsmen who bowl handy spin.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Samaraweera has been a huge let down for the Pears this year and it's time Kervezee looked for new pastures as he is only going backwards. Moeen has been fabulous this year and great to see it falling into place for him, eventually.

Posted by SDHM on (August 24, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Moeen seems to just have clicked this season - always been a huge talent, but never quite had the concentration or application. A cert to go down to Australia with the EPP and the Lions this winter.

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