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Second century for Moeen in poor loss
6:58pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in Sport
WORCESTERSHIRE’S hopes of winning promotion from LV= County Championship Division Two were dealt a major blow with a nine-wicket defeat against leaders Lancashire at New Road.
After resuming at 166-5 on the final day, 12 runs ahead, Steve Rhodes’ side finally capitulated for 241 and Lancashire reached their target of 88 with more than half a day to spare.
It takes Lancashire a step closer to the title but leaves Worcestershire in fifth place, 43 points behind second-placed Northamptonshire with four games remaining.
Skipper Glen Chapple removed the biggest obstacle in the County’s second innings when his ninth ball of the morning accounted for show-stealer Moeen Ali.
With scores of 104 and 109, the England Lions batsman emulated Graeme Hick, the last Worcestershire player to score two centuries in a match at New Road, against Essex in 2006.
In six home Championship matches this season, Moeen has scored 779 runs at an average of 111.29 and in his last six completed innings at New Road has made a double hundred, three centuries and two fifties.
Once Moeen had edged Chapple to Gareth Cross, the lower order battled on as best they could but Kyle Hogg landed two blows by removing Jack Shantry (31) and Joe Leach (20) in successive overs.
Finally it was over to Tom Smith to polish off the last two wickets in the space of six balls.
Graeme Cessford had Paul Horton caught at point with the last delivery of his second over but the umpires took the teams off for 10 minutes at 42-1 because of the light.
On resumption, Luis Reece (56 not out) and Ashwell Prince (19) wrapped up victory.
Worcestershire bring the curtain down on their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign at New Road against Sussex tomorrow (1.45).
The County have won their last two matches in the competition, defeating Warwickshire by 140 runs and Nottinghamshire by 38 runs.
All-rounder Gareth Andrew is still struggling with a back problem but could be fit for the LV=County Championship Division Two match at Leicestershire from Wednesday.
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