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LV= County Championship: Lancashire close in on Worcestershire

Simon Katich: Hit his fourth century in Championship action this season

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Simon Katich struck an unbeaten century to help push Lancashire to the brink of a first-innings lead on a shortened second day against Worcestershire.

The former Australia international - who turned 38 on Wednesday - had made 104 off only 89 balls as the Red Rose county reached 271-5 by the time the players came off the field due to bad light and drizzle eight balls after tea.

Left-hander Katich plundered his century between lunch and tea as he surpassed 1,000 LV= County Championship runs in the season.

He was given able support by Luis Reece and Ashwell Prince, who both scored half-centuries to help carry the current Division Two leaders to within touching distance of Worcestershire's first-innings total of 287.

Chapple falls

Having pushed himself up to open as a nightwatchman for one over on Thursday, visiting skipper Glen Chapple fell to the fourth ball of Friday's play, caught by wicketkeeper Ben Cox off paceman Graeme Cessford.

Reece and normal opening partner Paul Horton (30) combined to put on 77 before the latter was dismissed by Moeen Ali. Reece became the third wicket to fall with the score on 111, his knock of 59 being ended by Alan Richardson.

Katich came out at number five and quickly put the home side onto the back foot, bringing up his 50 in style, and frin just 55 deliveries, with a six off Ali's spin.

Prince had been happy to play second fiddle in the fourth-wicket alliance worth 92 in just 20 overs and had reached 52 by the time he was smartly caught at short cover by Thilan Samaraweera to become Cessford's second wicket.

Lancashire also lost Andrea Agathangelou, trapped lbw by Richardson for 14, but only the inclement weather stopped Katich, who smashed 24 off one Joe Leach over. By the end of play he had hit four sixes and 14 boundaries.