No pardon from Moeen and Pardoe

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Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali eases hosts Worcestershire towards a first-innings lead of 174 over Warwickshire thanks to a top score in the match of 92

Half-centuries from Moeen Ali and Matthew Pardoe gave Worcestershire the upper hand in their LV= County Championship Division One match with Warwickshire at New Road.

Moeen hit 92 against his former county while rookie batsman Pardoe scored 54 in only the second first-class appearance of his career.

Their contributions helped lift Worcestershire to 375 all out from 106.2 overs in reply to the visitors’ 201.

Paceman Boyd Rankin took 5-57 for Warwickshire who, at the close, were 98 behind on 76 without loss - Varun Chopra on 57 and Ian Westwood 19.      .

Moeen, who this week agreed a new contract to stay at New Road until the end of the 2013 season, tormented Jim Troughton’s side’s after resuming on 25 not out in the hosts’ overnight score of 155 for two.

They gained a first-innings lead in the 14th over of the day before the 23-year-old left-hander’s partnership with Vikram Solanki ended after they had put on 98 in 29 overs.

Former New Road skipper Solanki, 13 not out overnight, moved to 44 when he pushed forward and edged a routine catch to wicketkeeper Richard Johnson off Rankin.

After surviving a confident appeal for a catch behind while on 41, Moeen completed his half-century with 10 fours from 94 balls.

Alexei Kervezee fell cheaply to Rankin who was also the bowler when Moeen, on 54, was dropped low down at point by Chopra.

Rankin’s two wickets during his eight-over spell had cost just 15 runs before Worcestershire took lunch 45 runs ahead on 246 for four.

Moeen, who moved from Warwickshire in 2006, and 20-year-old Pardoe continued to make healthy progress after the interval and put on 73 in 25 overs before Warwickshire broke through.

Boyd Rankin

Boyd Rankin steams in on a day he took four wickets to add to one yesterday. However, Worcestershire hold a 98-run advantage

Their victim was Moeen who, just eight runs short of his sixth first-class century, turned spinner Ant Botha to Rikki Clarke at slip after notching 15 fours from 162 deliveries.

Botha pounced again two balls later to remove Gareth Andrew before dismissing Ben Cox shortly before tea when the home side were 347 for seven.

Left-hander Pardoe, who made his debut in Worcestershire’s opening championship match of the season against Yorkshire, registered his maiden first-class half-century in the second over after the break before being last out - to Rankin. His tally included eight fours from 142 balls.

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