WORCESTERSHIRE fell to a six-wicket defeat at Lancashire and will be sweating on the extent of an injury for Wayne Parnell.

Chasing 126 on a challenging surface, Lancashire slipped to 32 for four before lunch only to recover through captain Dane Vilas and fifth-wicket partner Rob Jones.

The pair shared an unbroken 95 inside 30 overs, Vilas leading the way with 60 not-out off 89 balls, while Jones finished unbeaten on 31.

Parnell missed Lancashire’s chase due to a hamstring injury in what was a first defeat after two County Championship Division Two victories but Worcestershire battled until the end.

The visitors saw their second innings wrapped up in the morning’s fourth over for the addition of only five more runs to an overnight 149 for nine.

Richard Gleeson had Joe Leach caught at mid-off by Jimmy Anderson following a miscue to secure his third five-wicket haul in four innings, finishing with figures of five for 37 from 17.2 overs.

While Gleeson claimed six wickets in the match, England’s Anderson picked up seven to make it a successful return from a week out with a knee injury but Lancashire were then rocked early in the chase.

Captain Leach struck twice with the new ball added to a wicket apiece for Charlie Morris and Ed Barnard.

Morris made the initial breakthrough when he had Haseeb Hameed caught at first slip by Riki Wessels with the 12th ball of the innings before Barnard trapped Jake Lehmann leg-before as the score fell to 30 for two in the 10th over.

Leach then struck twice in as many balls in the 13th over to set nerves jangling in the home dressing room, forcing Keaton Jennings (23) to play on and had Liam Livingstone caught by Wessels for a golden duck.

But Vilas and Jones took the score to 59 for four at lunch before snuffing out Worcestershire’s chances afterwards with more calm and composed batting.

When Vilas clipped Leach through mid-wicket for four to move into the thirties, he brought up a half-century stand inside 20 overs and took the score to 82 for four with 44 more needed.

And once Vilas had reached his fifty off 73 balls, driving Barnard back down the ground for four, Lancashire only needed 19 with Jones later hitting the winning runs.

The Pears added far more to this fixture than their haul of three points suggests and will remain confident of keeping pace with Lancashire in pursuit of a top three finish for promotion.

Parnell was probably the game’s standout performer with wickets and runs, initially bringing Worcestershire back into the game from 38 for seven in the first innings, scoring 63.

He then took five for 47 with the ball and scored another 25 in the second innings.