Worcestershire will be looking to their bowlers to pull out all the stops if they are to force victory on day three of the Specsavers County Championship match with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The visitors closed the second day, during which 14 wickets fell, on 149-9 from 66.1 overs in their second innings – an overall lead of 120.
Worcestershire duo Wayne Parnell and Charlie Morris instigated a dramatic Lancashire collapse during the morning session from 186-5 to 201 all out – a lead of 29 on first innings.
All-rounder Parnell completed his first five-for in the County’s colours to add to his highest Championship score of 63 yesterday since moving to Blackfinch New Road.
Paceman Morris finished with four more wickets to take his tally to 19 in just five Championship innings this summer.
Lancashire lost their last five wickets for 15 runs in 8.5 overs.
Worcestershire opener Tom Fell then dug in to battle through the afternoon session and made a hard fought 40.
But Worcestershire steadily lost wickets during their second innings.
Lancashire resumed day two on a chilly morning at 88-5 from 36.4 overs with captain Dane Vilas joining Liam Livingstone at the wicket after the loss of night-watchman Jimmy Anderson to the final ball of the day from Parnell.
Parnell and club captain Joe Leach opened the attack for the County this morning looking to build on Worcestershire’s sterling fightback with bat and ball on day one.
Livingstone and Vilas initially scored relatively freely and, with an older ball, there was less movement and little beating of the bat.
The 50 partnership between Livingstone and Vilas came up in 68 balls.
Livingstone reeled off a succession of boundaries and brought up his half century and survived a sharp return catch to Ed Barnard when on 63.
But then the wickets began to tumble in quick succession.
Parnell made the first breakthrough with his fourth wicket of the innings to end a stand of 98 in 20 overs between Livingstone and Vilas.
Vilas (39) shouldered arms to the all-rounder and lost his leg stump at 186-6 in the 57th over.
With just one run added, Morris collected his second scalp of the innings as Steven Croft (0) edged through to Daryl Mitchell who held onto a good catch low to his left at second slip.
He struck again in his next over as Tom Bailey (2) edged the ball into his pads and it ballooned into the hands of Barnard at point.
Parnell completed his five-for in the next over when he comprehensively bowled Livingstone for 69 off 112 balls with 14 fours and the total on 195-9.
Morris rounded off proceedings as Graham Onions (4) chipped a catch to Leach at mid off.
Parnell finished with figures of 22-9-47-5 and Morris 16.2-2-52-4 with skipper Joe Leach, 17-5-34-1, the other wicket-taker.
When Worcestershire started their second innings immediately after a delayed lunch, they suffered an early setback.
A lifting Anderson delivery flew off the edge of the bat of Mitchell (6) to Rob Jones who held onto a high catch at gulley.
Fell was joined by George Rhodes who again showed the fighting qualities which were evident in the first innings of the game versus Durham when he and Josh Dell fashioned a vital partnership.
The second wicket pair added 42 before three wickets fell for eight runs.
Rhodes (26) was bowled by a Tom Bailey delivery which kept low and then Richard Gleeson sent back Callum Ferguson (0) and Riki Wessels (0).
Ferguson went for a drive and edged to second slip and Wessels was lbw to a full length delivery.
Gleeson speared in a ball of full length to end Fell’s defiance when he was lbw. His 97 ball knock contained seven fours.
It became 81-6 when Anderson beat the defensive push of Ross Whiteley (5) and bowled him.
Keeper Ben Cox (19) looked to work Bailey on the on side and was leg before.
Barnard and Parnell added 42 in 15 overs for the eighth wicket before the former on 18 was dismissed when he went to cut Livingstone and played on.
In the last over of the day Parnell, after another useful 25, flicked at a Gleeson delivery and was caught behind.
Gleeson finished with figures of 15.1-5-35-4.