Wayne Parnell hit his maiden half century for Worcestershire and showed his value as an all-rounder as his side established a grip on the Specsavers County Championship clash with Lancashire at Southport.

The South African first of all helped polish off the Lancashire innings for 161 in partnership with Josh Tongue – who completed a five wicket haul – to earn Worcestershire a lead of 62.

Then the 29-year-old struck a 74 ball 50 as the visitors recovered from 56-4 to reach 252 and set Lancashire a 314 target.

Middle-lower batsmen Ben Cox, Alex Milton, Ed Barnard, Parnell, Ben Twohig and even the last pair of Tongue and Dillon Pennington chipped in with priceless runs in the context of the game in which 30 wickets have fallen in two days.

Lancashire reached 8-0 by the close.

The Red Rose County had resumed this morning on 96-5 in their first innings and quickly lost their last five wickets with Tongue and Parnell inflicting most of the damage.

Tongue soon disposed of night-watchman Toby Lester (8) who got into trouble trying to fend away a shortish delivery which looped up to Twohig in the covers.

Josh Bohannon (13) then became the second Lancashire player to be run out.

He cut Parnell into the third man region but then was involved in a mix-up after running two and failed to beat Barnard’s throw back to keeper Cox.

Parnell struck twice in three deliveries with Tom Bailey (4) and Keshav Maharaj (4) nicking through to Cox.

The innings came to an end when Jordan Clark (27) pulled Tongue only for Pennington to take a fine catch on the fine leg boundary.

Tongue finished with 5-63 to take his Championship wicket tally to 27 for the summer after his lengthy injury lay-off and Parnell ended with 3-42.

Bailey made his mark for Lancashire when the visitors launched their second innings with a three wicket burst.

Daryl Mitchell (7) was lbw, Joe Clarke (2) lost his middle stump and Tom Fell (22) was caught at cover point to leave Worcestershire on 31-3.

It became 56-4 when skipper Brett D’Oliveira, the first innings top scorer with 65, was leg before to Graham Onions.

But then came a superb fightback with Cox and Milton leading the way during a partnership of 61.

Cox struck seven fours in his 40 from 64 balls before he was another lbw victim – to spinner Keshav Maharaj.

Milton also showed a lot of resilience in making 37 from 105 deliveries with five boundaries before he was caught behind of Maharaj.

Worcestershire were then 130-6 but Parnell immediately decided to take the attack to Maharaj with an off drive for four and a straight six.

Barnard, who had batted defiantly in the first innings, made 24 of a partnership of 44 when he was held by Haseeb Hameed on the leg side boundary off Onions.

Onions then had Ben Twohig (14) caught behind but Parnell went onto complete a fine 50 with one six and five fours.

He did not add to that tally before being caught at short leg off Maharaj but the last pair of Tongue (20) and Pennington (15 not out) added a further 26 before the former was pouched at second slip off Lester.

Lancashire openers Hameed and night-watchman Lester negotiated three overs from Tongue and Parnell.