Worcestershire v Lancashire, New Road, 4th day August 25, 2013

Reece sees Lancs cement top spot

Lancashire 441 (Katich 105) and 88 for 1 (Reece 56*) beat Worcestershire 287 (Moeen 104) and 241 (Moeen 109) by nine wickets

Lancashire moved closer to locking down the County Championship Division Two title by wrapping up a nine-wicket victory over Worcestershire at New Road.

A fifth win in the last six games has put Glen Chapple's table-topping team 34 points clear of Northamptonshire and 65 ahead of Essex, having played a game more than the third-placed county.

Although Worcestershire began the last day only 12 runs ahead with five wickets standing, they did their best to delay the Lancashire bandwagon before bowing to the inevitable. After resuming at 166 for 5, the home side finally capitulated for 241 and Lancashire cleared off their target of 88 with more than half a day to spare.

Chapple removed the biggest obstacle when his ninth ball of the morning accounted for Worcestershire's show-stealer, Moeen Ali. With scores of 104 and 109, the England Lions batsman emulated Graeme Hick, the last Worcestershire player to score two centuries in a match on the New Road ground, against Essex in 2006.

In six home Championship matches this season Moeen has scored 779 runs at an average of 111.29 and in his last six completed innings at New Road he has made a double hundred, three centuries and two fifties.

For Worcestershire to have seriously stretched Lancashire, more was needed from Moeen than the eight runs he added on the last morning. After taking one more boundary off Kyle Hogg - in all he hit 12 fours and three sixes - he edged Chapple to Gareth Cross for the first of four successive catches by the wicketkeeper.

The lower order battled on as best as they could but Hogg landed two blows by removing Jack Shantry and Joe Leach in successive overs. Finally it was over to Tom Smith to polish off the last two wickets in the space of six balls. Graeme Cessford thin-edged an expansive drive and Ben Cox was leg-before for 11.

Cessford was quickly back in action with the new ball and with the last delivery of his second over had Paul Horton caught at point. The light became a problem as Cessford banged the ball in short of a length and with the score on 42 for 1 the umpires took the teams off for 10 minutes.

On the resumption Luis Reece continued his impressive introduction to Championship cricket, reaching his fourth half-century in a row with a straight six off Moeen. He also had 10 fours in an unbeaten 56 in 51 balls when Ashwell Prince, who made 19 in a stand of 71, hit the winning boundary off Shantry.