Moeen holds Worcestershire together
Division Two promotion hopefuls Lancashire were frustrated by a fine century from Worcestershire's Moeen Ali on day one of the LV= County Championship match at New Road.
The in-form left-hander hit 104, although a spirited fightback by the league leaders, who were boosted by Kyle Hogg’s four-wicket haul, limited the hosts to 287 all out.
Skipper Glen Chapple came out as a nightwatchman opener for Lancashire and safely negotiated a maiden over from Alan Richardson before proceedings were brought to a close.
Moeen's eye-catching innings followed his brilliant 114 on Monday in a Yorkshire Bank 40 Group A match against his former county Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
He had previously made an impression last week by scoring 61 for England Lions in a two-day game against the Australians at Wantage Road.
Lancashire also found the 26-year-old difficult to dislodge in their opening four-day match of the campaign when he made 78 in a rain-hit draw.
Moeen, whose knock today hoisted him well past the 1,000-run mark in the championship this summer, reached three figures off 194 balls with 13 fours. It was the 11th first-class century of his career and his third in Division Two this term.
Worcestershire’s openers put on 38 in 12 overs before Tom Smith’s third delivery was edged to Andrea Agathangelou in the slips by Daryl Mitchell.
The skipper's dismissal for 22, following a string of impressive limited-overs scores, signalled the start of a half-century partnership between his fellow opener Matt Pardoe and Moeen.
They shared 54 but left-arm medium-pacer Reece broke through on the stroke of lunch when he had Pardoe caught behind for 35.
Thilan Samaraweera struggled to get into his stride and suffered a soft dismissal when, after leaving a Hogg delivery, he ambled out of his ground to allow the alert Gareth Cross to stump him for six.
The veteran’s careless departure failed to unsettle Moeen, who instantly found a reliable partner in teenager Tom Fell.
Worcestershire took tea on 196 for three and their fourth-wicket partnership was worth 91 by the time Fell was run out for 43. The dismissal once again represented a slack one as Fell wandered down the wicket after turning Arron Lilley to square-leg, offering Reece a chance he gratefully accepted.
Ross Whiteley, making his championship debut for Worcestershire, was bowled by Lilley next ball before the visitors continued their revival by ousting Joe Leach.
Moeen finally fell in the first over with the new ball, nicking Hogg through to Cross after facing 205 balls.
Jack Shantry and Ben Cox both fell cheaply to make it six wickets for 37 in 15 overs, but Richardson and Graeme Cessford topped up the home tally with an entertaining 10th-wicket alliance worth 35.