Keedy counters superb Solanki

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Vikram Solanki

Vikram Solanki's sterling 107 aroused Worcestershire's hopes of victory over Lancashire - before he fell late on day three

Three wickets for Gary Keedy in the final session left Lancashire strong favourites to complete a vital victory over Worcestershire in their LV= County Championship match at Blackpool.

Chasing a testing 329 for victory, the visitors will head into the fourth day on 203 for five - needing a further 126 to win.

The best performance of the day came from Vikram Solanki, whose 175-ball 107 gave his side a slim chance of achieving their fourth championship win of the season.

He was eventually caught at slip by Paul Horton off Keedy near the end of a crucial spell which also saw the departure of Alexei Kervezee, caught by Steven Croft at short-leg when the ball rebounded off the pads of wicketkeeper Gareth Cross.

Worcestershire’s pursuit got off to a poor start when Matt Pardoe’s loose drive at Glen Chapple found Tom Smith in the third over.

However, Daryl Mitchell and Solanki ensured that Lancashire made no further breakthroughs with the new ball as they put on 62 for the second wicket in just over 20 overs.

Mitchell was lbw to Chapple for 22 - the ball kept rather low - but Moeen Ali accompanied Solanki to a 69-ball half-century.

Moeen went on the counter-attack against Keedy after tea but perished the spinner for 47 when Croft dived forward to take a good catch at short-leg. The departures of Kervezee and Solanki tilted the balance of power in Lancashire’s favour.

In the morning session Lancashire added just 81 to their overnight 167 for three.

All of Worcestershire’s seamers enjoyed operating on the helpful Stanley Park pitch, Gareth Andrew bagging three more wickets to finish with 5-59 and Richard Jones removing Cross, Kyle Hogg and Karl Brown in claiming 3-70.

Bowling from the South End, Andrew posed problems for all the batsmen and only Brown played him with much comfort.

Lancashire’s 23-year-old number three batted carefully to add 30 to his overnight score and had made 85, off 147 balls, when he skied Jones to Solanki, who took a good catch running back from slip.

Croft was the only other Lancashire batsman to reach double figures today; he was lbw to Andrew immediately after reaching a 91-ball fifty.

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