Singh sets target for Worcestershire win

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The Independent Online

Worcestershire snatched a dramatic victory as 20 wickets fell for 188 runs at New Road in a meeting between two of last season's relegated teams in the Norwich Union League.

The hosts mustered only 99 but maintained their promotion challenge by registering their fourth win with 15.4 overs to spare. Lancashire's batsmen fared even worse in a collapse for 89 on a pitch that produced pace, bounce and consistent movement for the seamers.

The visitors' reply was sabotaged in Andy Bichel's third over when Michael Atherton and Andrew Flintoff were powerless to prevent edges into a cordon of three slips. Worcestershire could only go all-out for victory and the end-product justified their decision to attack with their complement of four front-line seamers. John Crawley scored 18 before offering a slip catch off Stuart Lampitt, Kabir Ali keeping the pressure on the batsmen with a straight-through spell of two for 22.

Chris Schofield counter-attacked with some success, scoring 20, but the new-ball pair of Bichel and Alamgir Sheriyar came back to finish the job by taking the last three wickets in successive overs.

As well as their bowlers, Worcestershire's victory was as much due to a dash to 40 in eight overs with the help of four boundaries from Anurag Singh in an innings of 30 from only 22 balls. Glen Chapple made the breakthrough by bowling Singh and Graeme Hick in five balls and Andrew Flintoff took a league-best 3 for 16 with miserly support from Michael Smethurst in a spell of one for nine in nine overs.

Smethurst got rid of Vikram Solanki and Flintoff dismissed David Leatherdale and Bichel in consecutive overs before dislodging opener Paul Pollard for 24. Steve Rhodes and Kabir Ali were run out before Peter Martin polished off the last two wickets in successive deliveries.

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