Worcestershire made a solid start on the first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford as they finished on 227-6.
Both Tilan Samaraweera and Michael Johnson made their Worcestershire debuts and there was also a late change to the original line-up when David Lucas replaced Richard Jones, who was injured in the warm-up.
Lancashire inserted Worcestershire into bat but, because of a bug, Daryl Mitchell was unable to bat at the start and so it was Johnson who opened the innings with Matt Pardoe.
They made 28 for the first wicket until Pardoe got a leading edge and was caught by Glen Chapple at mid-on off Wayne White for 13. 8 runs later Johnson was lbw to Luke Procter for 18 and then Moeen Ali and Samaraweera took the visitors to lunch on 72-2 off 30 overs.
In the afternoon session Samaraweera had got to 28 before he was caught behind by Gareth Cross off Simon Kerrigan, with the score on 93-3 in the 37th over. Ali, who was dropped on 41, reached his 50 off 102 balls before Alexei Kervezee was caught by Steven Croft at second slip off White for 6.
At tea Worcestershire were on 161-4 off 64 overs and then in the evening session Ali and Neil Pinner's fifth-wicket partnership had got to 54 when Ali, who had passed 5,000 first-class career runs in his innings, was caught by Ashwell Prince at long-on off Kerrigan for 78 off 188 balls, with 9 fours and 1 six.
At 177-5 in the 75th over Mitchell then joined Pinner and they added 42 runs for the sixth wicket until Pinner was lbw to Procter for 29. 8 more runs were then added as the visitors ended the day on 227-6 off 96 overs, with Mitchell not out on 36 and Gareth Andrew unbeaten on 2.
Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester's Dave Bradley after the first day's play. Please click here to listen to the interview.
On a truncated second day, with 39 overs lost in the day, Lancashire, in reply to Worcestershire's 334 all out, were 42-0.
Play began on time and Mitchell soon went to his 50 off 101 balls as the visitors had reached 277-6 in the 113th over when rain briefly stopped play during the morning session. Play resumed at 12:30pm and in the 30 minutes before lunch the total had moved on to 301-6 off 120 overs.
Rain then delayed proceedings until 4:30pm, with the floodlights used, and the seventh wicket partnership was to end on 96 when Mitchell was caught behind by Gareth Cross off Glen Chapple for 74 off 169 balls, with 5 fours.
Andrew then reached his 50 off 96 balls before he was caught by Wayne White at deep cover point off Luke Procter for 52 off 100 balls, with 3 fours and 1 six. with the score on 329-8 in the 130th over, and then the last two wickets fell inside two overs as Chris Russell was bowled for 0 off Chapple and David Lucas was out for 11 when he edged behind to Cross off Procter.
Lancashire then had to bat for 19 overs and at the close of play they were on 42-0.
Captain Daryl Mitchell spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester's Dave Bradley after the second day's play. Please click here to listen to the interview.
For the second day in a row the rain intervened at Emirates Old Trafford, with 23 overs lost in the day, as Lancashire ended the third day on 250-3 in their first innings, trailing Worcestershire by 84 runs.
The home side began the day on 42-0 and it was a frustrating morning for Worcestershire as the Lancashire opening pair of Paul Horton and Luke Procter added a further 54 runs before the breakthrough arrived when Procter, who got to his 50 off 116 balls with a 6, was caught by Gareth Andrew at mid-on off Chris Russell (1-50 off 17 overs) for 53 off 118 balls, with 5 fours and 1 six.
At lunch the total had moved on to 112-1 off 49 overs and then in the afternoon session Horton went to his 50 off 179 balls before he was run out for 66 off 214 balls, with 9 fours, when Neil Pinner, in the covers, threw the ball back to Michael Johnson to leave Horton stranded by a few yards.
Then after 72 overs the rain took the players off the field, with Lancashire on 172-2, and play didn't resume until 5:20pm, with 20 overs left in the day. Karl Brown was the third wicket to fall when he edged Alan Richardson (1-31 off 28 overs) to Moeen Ali at first slip for 34, with the score on 179-3, and then Ashwell Prince (34*) and Simon Katich (25*) added an unbeaten 81 for the fourth wicket inside 15 overs as the home side ended the day on 250-3 off 92 overs.
Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley after the third day's play. Please click here to listen to the interview.
Worcestershire's opening LV= County Championship Division Two match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford ended in a draw as the rain, for the third day in a row, brought an early end to proceedings.
Lancashire started the final day on 250-3 and in the first 16 overs of the day Ashwell Prince and Simon Katich added a further 110 runs before Prince, who was earlier dropped by Moeen Ali, skied an attempted drive and was well caught by Daryl Mitchell, running around from mid-on, for 95 off 120 balls, with 11 fours and 2 sixes, to end a fourth wicket partnership of 181.
Katich, who was also earlier dropped by Tilan Samaraweera, was eventually out for 84 off 102 balls, with 11 fours and 1 six, when he was caught behind by Michael Johnson off Ali and then before lunch two more wickets had fallen when Gareth Cross (10) was run out and Steven Croft (25) was caught at first slip by Mitchell off David Lucas to leave the home side at lunch on 416-7 off 122 overs.
After lunch Wayne White (16*) and Glen Chapple (15*) added 32 more runs in 4 overs when the declaration came at 448-7 off 126 overs. Alan Richardson once again stood out with figures of 2-95 off 39 overs, with the other wickets taken by Lucas (1-76 off 26 overs), Ali (1-86 off 21 overs) and Chris Russell (1-96 off 23 overs).
Worcestershire potentially had to bat for a minimum of 60 overs and although they had lost the wicket of Matt Pardoe, caught behind by Cross off Chapple for 11, the rain arrived in the 12th over, with the visitors on 26-1, and the match was to end as a draw, with Worcestershire taking 6 points from this match.
Image courtesy of Barry Mitchell
Worcestershire Team: Daryl Mitchell*, Matt Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tilan Samaraweera, Alexei Kervezee, Neil Pinner, Michael Johnson+, Gareth Andrew, David Lucas, Chris Russell, Alan Richardson
WORCESTERSHIRE (334 & 26-1) DREW WITH LANCASHIRE (448-7d)