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August 25, 2007
Worcestershire 255 for 4 (Davies 83, Hick 50*) beat Lancashire 254 for 6 (Laxman 85*) by six wickets
Worcestershire made Taunton a home away from home with a six-wicket win against Lancashire. Steven Davies launched the run-chase with an explosive 83, giving the middle order enough breathing space against the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and Gary Keedy, and Graeme Hick added the finishing touches as Worcestershire consolidated their position at the top of the table.
This match, a home game for Worcestershire, was played at Taunton after New Road's season was washed-out by the floods. VVS Laxman's efficient 85 was the cornerstone of Lancashire's 254, but Worcestershire knew it was a run-filled surface with a fast outfield.
Davies and Vikram Solanki made the most of the fielding restrictions adding 68 in less than 10 overs. Moeen Ali helped Davies add 76 for the second wicket, although Ali was very much the silent partner. Davies' half-century came off 44 balls, but he found life tougher against Muralitharan and eventually popped a return catch to give Lancashire hope.
When Keedy had Ben Smith stumped off a sharply spinning wide the game was thrown open again. However, Hick showed all his experience - producing an emphatic conclusion with two huge sixes off Sajid Mahmood - while Abdul Razzaq played his part in a match-winning stand of 73.
Lancashire's innings was a curious affair, never really hitting top gear despite a solid base. Dominic Cork, promoted to No. 3, struggled to time the ball in his 57-ball 39, but Laxman milked the gaps to tick over at a run-a-ball. It needed a late cameo from Glen Chapple to lift Lancashire over 250, but it didn't prove enough.
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