Worcestershire surrendered their 100 per cent record in the Specsavers County Championship but went down fighting against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

The County tried to defend a 126 target despite the key absence of Wayne Parnell – their man of the match on the opening two days with bat and ball – with a hamstring injury which prevented him from bowling.

Club captain Joe Leach, Charlie Morris and Ed Barnard had Lancashire in trouble at 32-4.

But home skipper Dane Vilas (60) and Rob Jones (31) shared in an unbroken partnership of 95 to see their side across the finishing line midway through the afternoon session on the third day.

Worcestershire, also without the injured Josh Tongue for this game, showed great determination in recovering from 37-7 on the first morning and Lancashire being 186-5 in their first innings on day two with Parnell (63) and five wickets playing a major part.

Leach continued his successful comeback from a stress fracture of the back and Morris again bowled well to take his wicket tally to 20 from three games while Ben Cox and Leach (first innings) and Tom Fell and George Rhodes (second innings) fought hard with the bat.

But they just failed to pull off a third rescue act of the game from which they collected three bonus points for bowling.

Worcestershire will now look to bounce back against Middlesex at Blackfinch New Road starting next Monday.

Worcestershire added five more runs this morning before Leach (9) aimed a blow at Richard Gleeson and holed out to Jimmy Anderson at mid off.

Worcestershire needed early wickets and Charlie Morris made the initial breakthrough as Haseeb Hameed (4) went for a drive and edged through to Riki Wessels who took another razor sharp catch at first slip.

Lancashire reached 30-1 but then three wickets fell for two runs.

Ed Barnard struck with his first delivery when Jake Lehmann was trapped lbw and then Leach struck with successive deliveries.

Keaton Jennings (23) was undone by a delivery which jagged back and he chopped it onto his stumps.

The next delivery accounted for Liam Livingstone (0) who went for a drive and nicked to Wessels who collected another catch.

Leach rested after an elongated spell of 8-2-15-2 as Lancashire reached 59-4 for lunch.

Vilas and Jones slowly but surely rebuilt the Lancashire innings and then opened out in the afternoon session to complete a third successive win and replace Worcestershire at the top of the table.

Leach finished with figures of 12-3-29-2, Morris 12-5-30-1, Barnard 12-2-36-1, Ross Whiteley 5-1-18-0 and Rhodes 1.2-0-10-0.