Scott shines on Croft's day
Lancashire’s Steven Croft had an afternoon to treasure but Ben Scott’s determined century ensured Worcestershire enjoyed a full share of the spoils on the first day of the LV= County Championship Division One match at a sunny Old Trafford.
Despite Croft celebrating his inclusion in England’s provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 by claiming 3-64, taking two catches and a delivering a vital run out, Worcestershire made 291 in their first innings.
Scott’s 106 was key to that total, with Lancashire subsequently reaching 13 without loss.
Worcestershire’s respectable effort represented a substantial recovery from their lowly position of 93 for six when Scott joined Matt Pardoe in a resourceful seventh-wicket stand of 127 runs in 41 overs.
Both made season’s best championship scores and the partnership was only broken when Croft misfielded but recovered quickly and ran out Pardoe for an impressive 55.
Shaaiq Choudhry fell lbw to Glen Chapple for two, but Scott - who had made just 45 runs in 11 championship innings prior to this match - continued serenely on and reached his first hundred for Worcestershire with a single half an hour before the close.
Richard Jones was lbw to Tom Smith’s fourth ball of the day for 15, and Scott was caught by Chapple off Simon Kerrigan, leaving the spinner with figures of 4-117 from 36.1 overs
The wicketkeeper-batsman hit 11 fours and faced 163 balls to reach three figures on a wicket that offered the spinners plenty of help.
The fine fightback rather took the gloss off a day that had been dominated by Lancashire's spinners, Croft and Kerrigan.
After losing the toss, Chapple introduced Kerrigan in the 12th over and left-arm spinner soon had Daryl Mitchell caught by Smith in the gully for 12.
However, Lancashire enjoyed by far their best period of the day when Croft operated in tandem with Kerrigan either side of lunch.
The part-time off-spinner trapped Phil Hughes lbw just before the interval and added the scalps of Moeen Ali and Vikram Solanki shortly after play resumed.
Fielding close in behind square on the leg side, the 27-year-old all-rounder then pouched sharp catches off successive Kerrigan deliveries to get rid of James Cameron and Gareth Andrew
Yet the arrival of the feisty Scott to join Pardoe halted the visitors’ slide.