Parkinson takes eight at New Road

Worcestershire versus Leicestershire, Specsavers County Championship, Day 3:

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo HERE

INTERVIEW | Callum Parkinson spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps, the interview is available HERE

HIGHLIGHTS | The highlights of the third day are available HERE

REPORT | Worcestershire ended day three in a position of strength despite a tremendous performance from Leicestershire slow left armer Callum Parkinson.

Parkinson finished with career-best figures of 8 for 148 from 45 overs, the finest Leicestershire analysis since Devon Malcolm claimed 8-63 against Surrey in 2001, as Worcestershire were bowled out for 493.

Brett D'Oliveira (138) and Ben Cox (77) were the highest scorers as Worcestershire claimed a first innings lead of 89.

County moved 22 ahead by stumps but lost seven second innings wickets in the process, Neil Dexter top-scoring with 48.

The Pears started the day at 270 for 4 and Parkinson completed his five-for before the new ball was due.

Nightwatchman Josh Tongue guided Zak Chappell for a brace of fours but perished for 10 following a superb piece of work by wicket-keeper Lewis Hill. The batsman slightly overbalanced to a Parkinson delivery that spun and Hill whipped the bails off.

D'Oliveira continued to look in good touch, adding another couple of fours to his collection before a leading edge looped back to Parkinson.

Leicestershire now had a second bowling point with Worcestershire at 313 for 6 and, with 11 more runs added, the new ball was taken immediately by Dieter Klein and Ben Raine.

The left arm paceman nearly struck in his first over as Cox edged to Ned Eckersley on 9 but the fielder at second slip could not hold on to the sharpest of chances.

Ravichandran Ashwin settled quickly and continued to look in good touch when driving. He struck Parkinson for a brace of fours either side of the wicket when the spinner returned to bowl the 86th over, the first of which recorded the 50 stand with Cox.

The spinner is never one to shy a challenge; Parkinson was still prepared to flight the ball to get the batsmen driving. One such delivery saw the downfall of Ashwin as a rare loose stroke went towards Eckersley, who snapped up the opportunity moving to his left at extra cover.

Giving the ball some air meant that Parkinson's first maiden didn't arrive until the 31st over, at which point he had outstanding figures of 6 for 91.

Cox lofted Parkinson for four and six over mid-off in the 94th over before the Pears recorded maximum batting points in the next over.

Parkinson nearly had a seventh victim when Ed Barnard, on 20, advanced and missed but the ball bounced off 'keeper Hill.

Lunch was taken with the score at 434 for 7 with Cox, who reached 50 shortly before the break from 66 balls (5x4, 1x6), on 52 and Barnard 26 not out. 

The stand was worth 54 at the interval and a further nine runs were added before Barnard (30) tried to force the ball through the off-side and succeeded only in edging Raine to Hill.

Worcestershire's first innings score progressed to 460 for 8 before a shower arrived. Leach went on to use the pull stroke to good effect, collecting a three, four and maximum, before Parkinson took his second return catch of the innings. This grab was much harder as Leach drilled hard to the slow left armer's right - and he took a superb one-handed effort.

Parkinson then wrapped up the innings as Cox lofted to Klein at mid-off. The slow left armer became the second Leicestershire spinner in three seasons to claim an eight-for following Jigar Naik, who returned figures of 8 for 179 against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford in 2015.

Leicestershire suffered the toughest of starts to their second innings as four wickets fell in the opening five overs.

Tongue had Eckersley (0) and Colin Ackermann (4) caught at the wicket in his opening before Leach took wickets in two consecutive overs with balls that nipped back. Mark Cosgrove (0) was trapped leg before and Michael Carberry (1) saw the top of his off stump disturbed after offering no stroke.

Aadil and Dexter saw the team to tea with Leicestershire 69 runs behind at 20 for 4. Ashwin came on for an early bowl at the New Road End but the batsmen took the attack to him. Aadil drove the off-spinner down the ground while Dexter struck a six to the big boundary at mid-wicket. 

The slow bowler nearly had revenge with his very next delivery when Dexter hit to straight mid-wicket on 20 but Joe Clarke couldn't hold on.

Leicestershire’s fifth wicket fell to seam as Barnard, who bowled tight lines from the Diglis End, trapped Aadil (24) lbw to end the stand at 49.

Umpires Neil Bainton and Peter Hartley took the players from the field with rain in the air and there were 15 overs left when play resumed.

The final passage of play began well; Hill struck Barnard through mid-on and the covers to the ropes while Dexter collected a boundary with a well-executed sweep off Ashwin before driving Barnard and Leach for further fours through the off-side.

But Dexter and Raine fell before stumps as Ashwin had success bowling around the wicket. Dexter was trapped lbw while Raine (10) was caught at slip, leaving Leicestershire at 111 for 7 in their second innings with Hill on 18 not out.

Bowling figures for Leicestershire: Klein 12-2-67-0, Raine 31-7-90-2, Chappell 16-0-108-0, Parkinson 45-1-148-8, Dexter 11-2-40-0, Aadil 3-0-21-0.

* Thanks to John Mallett for the photograph of Callum Parkinson bowling at New Road today.

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