Steven Croft's century helps Lancashire get on top
Last updated on .From the section Counties
|LV County Championship Division One, Blackpool|
|Close of play, day one: Lancashire 282, Worcestershire 77-5|
|Worcestershire 3pts, Lancashire 3pts|
Steven Croft hit his second ton in as many games before Lancashire truly took control with a five-wicket burst against Worcestershire at Blackpool.
But, on a day when 15 wickets fell, Worcestershire rallied late on after losing half their side for 21.
Croft's 107 was the cornerstone of the home side's 282, backed by Paul Horton (47) and Gareth Cross (39).
After Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg had the Pears in real bother, Gareth Andrew and Aneesh Kapil rallied well to 77-5.
Chapple took three wickets and Hogg two more as the visitors' top order had no answer to late swing and sharp movement off the Stanley Park wicket.
Matt Pardoe, Vikram Solanki and Alexei Kervezee all fell to slip catches while Moeen Ali was lbw first ball and skipper Daryl Mitchell played on before Andrew and Kapil stopped the rot.
The performance of the Lancashire seamers in a dramatic final 90 minutes of the day almost overshadowed Croft's earlier efforts on his return to his home club.
But, having come to the wicket with his side on 62-3, there weas on underestimating the importance of Croft's second ton in successive Championship matches.
Having soon lost Horton, he added 87 with Farveez Maharoof, who made 29, before putting on 90 in under 14 overs with his sixth-wicket partner Cross.
Croft dominated both stands, reaching his 50 in 60 balls and then hitting four big sixes as he reached his century off only 38 further deliveries.
The Worcestershire spinners came in for rough treatment, Ali being dispatched for two leg-side sixes and Shaaiq Choudhry conceding 25 runs off two overs as Croft reached his hundred with a six over long on.
Croft's destruction of the Worcestershire bowling left Mitchell's team deeply regretting the escape they had given him on 33 when the sun's reflection off a window prevented substitute fielder Nick Harrison even getting a hand to a straightforward chance at long leg off Alan Richardson.