Worcestershire travelled to Blackpool to face top of the table Lancashire in their latest LV= County Championship Division 1 fixture. With the early return home of Saeed Ajmal Worcestershire went into the game with no overseas player. Richard Jones came into the side in the place of Jack Shantry with Shaaiq Choudhry also included in the team.
Worcestershire won the toss and elected to bowl first at a ground that has a history of producing fast wickets. With a bit of seam and swing movement early on the Lancashire opening batsmen were watchful and the run rate was kept low. Jones picked up a wicket in both of his spells in the first session. Paul Horton look liked he had played himself in and was comfortable but was dismissed just before lunch for 47 by a sharp low catch at slip by Daryl Mitchell off the bowling of Moeen Ali. The home side reached the lunch interval on 97-4.
Steven Croft, playing at his home town ground dominated the afternoon session with a fine innings of 107 of 111 deliveries. He shared a 5th wicket stand of 87 with Farveez Maharoof (29) and a 6th wicket stand of 90 with Gareth Cross (39) as Lancashire upped the run rate to over 4 runs per over. Croft should have dismissed on 33 to a regulation catch at long leg but the substitute fielder lost the ball in the sun and the ball dropped safely to the boundary, much to the delight of the home side. Aneesh Kapil picked up the key wicket of Croft just before the tea interval, once again to a slip catch to Daryl Mitchell. By tea Lancashire had reached 267-6.
The evening session proved to be eventful for both sides with nine wickets falling in the space of 16 overs in just over an hours play. After the resumption after tea it only took Worcestershire just under six overs to take the remaining Lancashire wickets as they were bowled out for 282. Gareth Andrew's spell after tea was 3-3 in 2.5 overs with Kapil picking up the other wicket to fall to finish on 2-38. Andrew finished with figures of 3-47 and Jones 3-62.
Lancashire produced a fine display of new ball bowling which with swing and seam movement that tore out the Worcestershire top order in under 12 overs as they slumped to 21-5. Glen Chapple took 3-26 and Kyle Hogg 2-9 with the new ball. Three of the wickets fell to slip catches, one to a LBW, Mitchell was perhaps a bit unlucky to be bowled of an outside edge for 5 after lasting for 41 testing deliveries.
Andrew (28*) and Kapil (24*) then steered the visitors to the close with an unbeaten 6th wicket partnership of 56 to help Worcestershire reach 77-5 by the close of play.
Close of Play Day 1. Lancashire 282. Worcestershire 77-5.