Solanki century gives Worcs hope of Blackpool win

LV County Championship Division One, Blackpool
Close of play, day three: Lancashire 282 & 248, Worcestershire 202 & 203-5
Lancashire 5pts, Worcestershire 4pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Vikram Solanki's polished century gave relegation-haunted Worcestershire hope of beating title-chasing Lancashire.

Paceman Gareth Andrew took 5-59 as Lancashire, 167-3 overnight, collapsed to 248 all out, despite the efforts of Karl Brown (85) and Steven Croft (50).

Solanki then put on 91 for the third wicket with Moeen Ali (47) to give Worcestershire hopes of victory.

And, although he went for 107 close to the end, Gary Keedy's third victim, the visitors need only 126 to win on 203-5.

Keedy's three wickets have made Lancashire the favourites, but the visitors have half their wickets in hand - and the big-hitting Andrew to come - as they chase a fourth Championship win of the season.

In the morning session, Lancashire added just 81 runs for their last seven second-innings wickets, all of Worcestershire's seamers enjoying the helpful Stanley Park pitch.

Bowling from the South End, Andrew posed problems for all the batsmen as he took three more wickets, only Brown playing him with much comfort.

The visitors' pursuit of what seemed a distant target got off to a poor start when Matt Pardoe's loose drive edged a Glen Chapple delivery to Tom Smith in the third over.

Former skipper Solanki then came in to help current captain Daryl Mitchell put on 62 runs for the second wicket in just over 20 overs.

Mitchell departed when he was plumb to Chapple for 22, the ball keeping rather low, but Solanki and Moeen had added a further 49 runs by tea, when Worcestershire were 116-2.

Moeen went on the counter-attack against Keedy after tea but lost his wicket to the spinner for 47 when Croft dived forward to take a good catch at short leg.

Solanki kept Worcestershire in it by reaching three figures, but he was eventually caught at slip near the end of a perhaps crucial spell from Keedy, which also saw the departure of Alexei Kervezee caught by Croft at short leg when the ball rebounded off the pads of wicketkeeper Gareth Cross.

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