Mason runs amok for Worcestershire
Worcestershire pace bowler Matt Mason left Lancashire’s brittle batting in complete tatters on the opening day of the LV= County Championship clash at Old Trafford.
The 35-year-old Australian claimed five wickets in five overs to help reduce the hosts from 38 for two to 77 for seven in this potential Division One relegation battle.
Mason conceded 14 runs in his first over but came back superbly to end his 14-over spell with 5-19 - including 11 maidens - thanks to accuracy with plenty of swing.
Eighteen wickets fell in the day, and Lancashire made it to 119 for eight at the close thanks to an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 37 between Glen Chapple and Oliver Newby. They trail by 53, after Worcestershire were bowled out for 172.
Kyle Hogg earlier finished the pick of the Lancashire bowlers with 3-26 from 12 overs - his best championship figures for more than seven years.
Sajid Mahmood took 3-51, and wicketkeeper Steven Davies top scored with 39 off 58 balls.
Mahmood and Newby removed openers Daryl Mitchell and Stephen Moore to leave Worcestershire 35 for two, before Vikram Solanki and Ben Smith steadied things somewhat with a 36-run partnership.
Home captain Chapple then removed Solanki, caught behind by Luke Sutton.
Hogg, who spent a month’s loan spell at New Road in 2007, sent down four maidens in his first five overs. He also trapped Smith lbw to leave the visitors 81 for four just before the break.
Then with the last ball of the first over after lunch, he removed Moeen Ali in the same manner.
After Chapple had picked up his side’s third lbw decision of the day, that of Australian bowler Ashley Noffke, Hogg had Gareth Batty strangled down the leg-side.
Davies tried his best to rescue things with six fours before he was caught behind off Mahmood.
Gareth Andrew was run out by Newby in his follow-through, and Mason provided Mahmood with his third wicket by offering a sharp caught-and-bowled chance to end the innings inside 58 overs.
Mal Loye then flicked three boundaries in Mason’s first over, before Paul Horton fell to Noffke in the third - and Mark Chilton went the same way.
Mason then steamed in with his five wickets by trapping Loye, VVS Laxman and later Hogg lbw, Steven Croft caught at second slip by Ben Smith and Sutton caught at gully.
Finally, Mahmood was bowled by Noffke.