Worcestershire were edged out by four wickets after an excellent undefeated century from skipper Dane Vilas earned Lancashire a four wicket win in the Specsavers County Championship match at Southport.
Vilas – with support from Josh Bohannon in an unbroken stand of 139 – enabled the home side to reach their 317 target with more than a day to spare.
The Worcestershire bowlers stuck to their task and at different times had Lancashire on 63-4 and 178-6 but a combination of the pitch flattening out, the batting of Vilas and the occasional piece misfortune meant the Red Rose County edged over the line.
It was another superb advert for Championship cricket and, although disappointed to lose, Worcestershire can take much heart from their performance for much of the game.
They will now look to bounce back when they face another of their rivals in the battle to stay in Division One in Hampshire at Blackfinch New Road starting on Tuesday.
Lancashire resumed on 8-0 and initially the game looked to be tilting strongly in Worcestershire’s favour.
Ed Barnard’s superb throw from cover point accounted for nightwatchman Toby Lester (8) after Haseeb Hameed had called him through for a single.
Barnard then struck twice in three balls with Hameed (14) and Rob Jones (0) nicking through to keeper Ben Cox.
Cox collected a third catch when Alex Davies (30) attempted to pull Dillon Pennington and top edged the ball up in the air.
But from that point Vilas and his team-mates proved harder to dislodge and only two more wickets fell.
Steven Croft (36) added 58 with Vilas before he was caught by Joe Clarke at first slip.
Skipper Brett D’Oliveira took a good catch running back at long off after Jordan Clark (31) tried to hit Ben Twohig over the top after a stand of 57 with Vilas.
It was then that Vilas was joined by Bohannon for the defining stand of the game.
Vilas only gave one chance, a difficult one to slip on 85 off Pennington, although he also bottom edged Tongue for four.
But overall he produced a marvellous innings and, with Bohannon, who inside edged Wayne Parnell to the boundary to complete his fifty, negotiated the second new ball to see Lancashire home.
Vilas clipped Tongue through mid wicket to bring up his 100 off 187 balls with his 14th boundary.
He ended undefeated on 107 and Bohannon remained unbeaten on 78.
Barnard ended with 2-50, Tongue 1-75, Pennington 1-42 and Twohig 1-48.