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Lancashire wrap up three-day win

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, New Road
DAY THREE: Lancashire 347 and 122-4 beat Worcestershire 167 and 301 by six wickets
(Lancs 20 pts, Worcs 3pts)
6-8 May 2009


Sajid Mahmood
Sajid Mahmood played the last of his eight Tests for England in January 2007

England paceman Sajid Mahmood picked up the first 10-wicket match haul of his career as Lancashire cruised to a second Championship win of the season.

Mahmood's career best 6-75 bowled out Worcestershire for 301, of which Moeen Ali hit 80 and Ben Smith 43, setting the visitors a victory target of 121.

Despite the early loss of openers Tom Smith and Paul Horton, the visitors were always in control, reaching 122-4.

Francois du Plessis went for 34, but a six-wicket win was still wrapped up.

Lancashire go top of the fledgling Division One table with their second win in three games.

The main resistance came from blossoming left-hander Moeen, who hit one six and 12 fours in his 80 off 133 balls, sharing a 102-run fourth wicket stand with Smith, which at one stage on the third morning threatened to take the game into a fourth day.

But he eventually became part of 27-year-old Mahmood's first-ever six-wicket haul.

For injury-hit Worcestershire it continued their tough start to life back in the top flight.

In their first home Championship match of the season, but without their three main pace bowlers Ashley Noffke and England duo Kabir Ali and Simon Jones, this was a third defeat in four matches for Steve Rhodes' men.

Worcestershire hope Noffke will be back for Sunday's Friends Provident Trophy trip to Trent Bridge when the Group A leaders hope to extend their winning run against Nottinghamshire.

Along with spinner Ian Smith, Noffke has been named in a 13-man squad.

Lancashire will defend their own 100% Trophy record in group D against holders Essex.


Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford and Worcester:

"We fell short with the bat once again, which is disappointing.

"Eight batting points out of a possible 20 is not enough.

"Our batsmen know we are not getting enough runs at the top of the order, in the middle order or the tail and we have got to address that and put it right.

"I have got confidence that it will happen and there are some pleasing signs there."

Lancashire coach Peter Moores told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"It's been a really good start to the season. We've played, good, hard, solid cricket.

"We had to work really hard, but getting Vikram Solanki last night really helped us this morning.

"Saj has had a great game, he asked a lot of questions of the batsmen and deserved the wickets he got."

BBC Radio Lancashire's Chris Mallaband offer his match verdict: "Moeen Ali and Ben Smith were starting to change the feel of the match.

"Leading by 43 runs with seven wickets intact, it seemed that Vikram Solanki's men were in position to set Lancashire a testing target in the final innings on a pitch of increasingly variable bounce.

" But when Smith was trapped LBW by his Lancastrian namesake Tom just prior to the second new ball becoming available, the tide began to turn.

"Mahmood took over, running through the tail, the final seven wickets falling for 78 runs.

"A target of 122 never really looked a problem and, although the top four all departed having got starts, victory in the watery Worcester sunshine was comfortably achieved at a quarter to six.

"The Peter Moores momentum continues to gather pace."



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