|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day one):|
|Worcestershire 172: Parnell 63, Leach 36, Cox 32; Anderson 5-25, Onions 3-52|
|Lancashire 88-5: Parnell 3-19|
|Lancashire (3 pts) trail Worcestershire (1 pt) by 84 runs|
England legend James Anderson reduced Worcestershire to 38-7 in a stunning morning for Lancashire, well supported by ex-England paceman Graham Onions.
But South African Wayne Parnell then spearheaded a Pears fightback, top scoring with 63 to help his side reach 172, before then taking three wickets.
After nightwatchman Anderson became Parnell’s third victim in the day’s final over, Lancashire closed on 88-5.
That left them still 84 behind in this Division Two top-of-the-table clash.
Parnell shared half-century stands for the eighth and ninth wickets with Ben Cox (32) and belligerent captain Joe Leach (36 in as many balls) as the Worcestershire recovery coincided with Anderson and Onions coming out of the attack for a well-earned rest.
Anderson, warming up nicely for this summer’s Ashes series having recovered from his nasty injury in the One-Day Cup win at Lord’s, bowled unchanged for 12 overs to take 4-14 in his first spell, while fellow 36-year-old Onions all but matched him with 3-25 in a 10-over stint.
Richard Gleeson had Cox caught behind off an inside-edge, before Anderson returned to have visiting skipper Leach caught behind – to mark his 46th five-wicket haul in first-class Cricket, 18 of which have been in Lancashire colours.
Tom Bailey then wrapped up the innings by bowling Parnell – but Lancashire did not find it much easier in reply.
Leach had England opener Keaton Jennings well caught high to his left by Tom Fell at fourth slip, before Parnell had Lehmann sharply caught at first slip by Riki Wessels.
Charlie Morris then trapped Haseeb Hameed lbw for 29 before Parnell capped a memorable day when, in successive overs, he had Rob Jones (25) caught by Daryl Mitchell at the second attempt at second slip, then got Anderson too.
England’s Jimmy Anderson told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“It’s a tricky day to assess. Obviously we’re hugely disappointed to lose the two wickets at the end there. We were in a decent position at 82-3. But they’re right back in the game.
“When they were 38-7, we could have bowled them out a lot cheaper than we did. But that’s just the nature of the game. Parnell batted really well to get them up to a decent score.
“It was a good test for the bruised knee. I enjoyed that first partnership with Graham at the other end.. We asked a lot of questions and got some good rewards.
“I wouldn’t really want a 12-over spell every time I open the bowling, but I got into a rhythm. It was right we kept going.”
“Lancs bowled really well first up, but we managed to scrap an ok score and take a few wickets, which is really good. It’s probably a fairly even day.
“When I was in, I was in with Coxy. It was just about trying to get to 100 up first. Then, after that, Leachy came in and looked like he was striking it well from ball one.
It was just about trying to get a decent score and trying to make them bowl more overs. Jimmy and Onions, their first spells were very long. We wanted to get more overs into them.
“It was good with the ball as well. When I was batting, I felt comfortable at times, but there’s always a ball that does a bit. That was our game plan. To keep it in good areas. And they never got away from us from a run-rate point of view.”