Wayne Parnell sparkled with bat and ball to inspire a Worcestershire fightback on day one of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two top two meeting with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Parnell first helped Worcestershire to recover from a devastating new ball burst by Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions.

The South African all-rounder shared in substantial lower order partnerships with red ball vice captain Ben Cox and club captain Joe Leach to rescue Worcestershire from 38-7 and reach 172 all out.

He achieved his highest Championship score for Worcestershire of 63.

Parnell then made major inroads with the ball, picking up three wickets as Lancashire closed on 88-5 with the game evenly poised.

It followed on from Parnell’s impressive form for the County in the Royal London One-Day Cup when he was their leading wicket-taker with 22 victims.

Table-topping Worcestershire made two changes to the side which defeated Durham.

Callum Ferguson was back available after a family commitment and replaced Josh Dell while Parnell, who was rested against Durham, came in for Josh Tongue who has an injury niggle which will be monitored during the next few days.

Worcestershire opted for a toss which was won by Lancashire and they opted to put the visitors into bat.

England paceman Anderson, fit again after a knock to the knee, and Onions were at the top of their game with the new ball.

Daryl Mitchell (0) nicked Onions to first slip and Tom Fell (3) was lbw to a ball of full length which he was working to leg.

George Rhodes (1) pushed forward and was bowled by Anderson.

Riki Wessels (6) , fresh from his century against Durham, cover drove Onions for the first boundary of the day but was lbw to a Anderson delivery which cut back.

Ferguson, on his Championship debut for Worcestershire, drove a ball of full length from Anderson for four.

The Australian on eight became the third lbw victim of the morning with Anderson striking again.

Ross Whiteley twice drove Onions in impressive fashion for boundaries but when he repeated the shot he was bowled via the inside edge after making 10.

Ed Barnard (0) edged Anderson to Liam Livingstone at second slip at 38-7 in the 19th over.
Anderson had figures of 12-4-14-4 and Onions 10-2-25-3 from their opening spells.

Cox and Parnell joined forces and the former drove Richard Gleeson for four to being up the 50 in the 22nd over before repeating the shot against Tom Bailey.

By lunch Cox had moved onto 20 and Parnell 12 out of 66-7 from 29 overs.

The eighth wicket pair brought up a half century stand in 99 balls when Cox drilled Gleeson through the covers to the ropes.

But the next ball from Gleeson led to his downfall on 32 when he was caught behind off an inside edge.

Leach immediately went on the offensive after striding to the wicket.

He picked up three boundaries off Gleeson via a cover drive, cut and square drive and collected another two off the recalled Onions in an aggressive start.

Parnell pulled Onions for four to bring up a half century stand with his club captain in just 10 overs.

Leach’s run a ball 36 ended after adding 59 with Parnell when he tried to cut Anderson and was caught behind to give Anderson his fifth wicket.

But Parnell completed his splendid half century when he turned Anderson off his legs for three before he was bowled by Tom Bailey.

Anderson finished with 5-25 and Onions 3-52.

Worcestershire carried their end of innings momentum into the field and Leach soon struck when Keaton Jennings (3) was splendidly caught by Fell at fourth slip high to his left.

Lancashire’s new overseas player, Jake Lehmann (8) nicked Parnell to Wessels at first slip – another sharp catch.

Charlie Morris trapped Haseeb Hameed lbw for 29 before Parnell capped a memorable day.

He had Rob Jones (25) caught by Mitchell at the second attempt at second slip and nightwatchman Anderson (4) lbw in his last two overs of the day.

Parnell ended with figures of 10.4-5-19-3, Leach 11-5-16-1 and Morris 9-1-28-1 with Barnard, 6-0-25-0, the other bowler used.