Stunning Davies crushes Lancashire
Worcestershire 189 for 5 (Davies 103*) beat Lancashire 85 (Batty 3-2, Andrew 3-12) by 105 runs
The inconsistent lunchtime weather provided sun one minute, showers the next, but eventually relented to allow play to start at four o'clock. Lancashire, having won the toss and with Glen Chapple as captain in place of the resting Stuart Law, put the visitors in to bat.
Worcestershire dominated from the very first ball, a half-volley on leg stump from Sajid Mahmood, which Vikram Solanki neatly glanced for four. In the second over, Davies hit a ball from Chapple for a superb six over extra cover, and the team was off to an ideal start. Solanki greeted Kyle Hogg to the bowling crease with a six over midwicket first ball, and 16 came off the over; he was not entrusted with the ball again.
The pair added 70 at eight an over before Solanki chipped a catch to mid-on, departing for 28. Davies was already into the 40s, and he continued to dominate the innings, reaching his 50 off 40 balls. There were brief cameos from Stephen Moore (12) and Ben Smith (15) at the other end, but otherwise it was largely a one-man show; Graeme Hick had a disappointing day with just 3 off 11 balls.
It was a tight call for Davies, as he approached his century with the overs running out. His partners did manage to give him the strike when he needed it, and he faced the last ball on 99. He worked it down to third man for what should have been just a single, but a misfield gave him the four and he finished with a superb 103 off 83 balls. Tom Smith, recalled from a loan spell with Leicestershire as a late replacement for Dominic Cork, bowled well to take 2 for 27, while Keedy did a fine job with 1 for 16 in his five overs to bottle up the middle of the innings.
It was a tough chase for Lancashire, made more difficult when Lou Vincent holed out in the covers in the first over. Within six overs they were in terminal trouble, Paul Horton and Mal Loye going for 12 apiece, and the total 26 for 3. Steven Croft and Faf du Plessis were quickly out to skiers, and at this stage four wickets had fallen in consecutive overs. At 32 for 5, Lancashire were doomed.
After this, it was simply an exercise in damage limitation by Lancashire, and they didn't even manage this until the indignant captain, Chapple, arrived at the crease. He hammered Matt Mason for 18 off an over, including sixes over square leg and long-on, raising his team from the depths of 48 for 7 - only in the next over to pop up a simple catch and depart for 23.
The final dismal score was 84, and the Lancashire supporters who risked the weather to watch the match will be deeply disappointed by their team's lack of fight. Gareth Andrew ended with 3 for 12 while Gareth Batty, in his three overs, claimed 3 for 2. Davies alone scored 19 more runs than the entire home team, and Worcestershire are currently on a roll.