MOEEN ALI and Worcestershire had little trouble in taking the four wickets they needed for victory during the fourth morning against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Moeen’s side completed their second Specsavers County Championship win of the season, by an innings and 186 runs. Yorkshire started their second innings 356 runs in arrears and resumed on day four at 140-6. But they were bowled out for 170 inside 40 minutes of play.
The win capped a brilliant week for Moeen, giving him hope of an England recall. After taking two wickets with his off-spinners in the first innings, he struck a brilliant 219 with the bat as the visitors amassed 572-7 declared in reply to Yorkshire’s 216.
He then struck four times at the start of Yorkshire’s second innings on day three and added two of the last four to fall, finishing with 6-49 from 23 overs.
Bottom of the Division One table before this round of fixture, Worcestershire claimed a maximum 24-point haul to the White Rose county’s one. It means the gap between the two is now just five points with as many games to play.
Both sides will now have to wait for other games involving relegation rivals Lancashire and Hampshire to finish to see exactly where they sit in the table.
Afterwards, Yorkshire captain, David Willey said: “It’s been a difficult week. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say ‘We’ve been outplayed’. That’s probably been the case this week, so credit to them. I think they applied themselves better. As a result, they confidently beat us.
“It’s my first game as captain and first game back since Hampshire (in April 2017). I’m still getting my bearings with four-day cricket.
“It’s been a tough week all round. Ultimately, we have to look at the five games that are left and make sure we are doing the processes right. Hopefully we’ll get some results on the back of that.”
While this was Worcester’s second win in nine this season, this was Yorkshire’s fourth defeat in nine and their fifth defeat in the last six fixtures on this ground, including the last four in a row.
On Wednesday morning Moeen bowled David Willey and had Matthew Fisher caught behind within the space of four balls in the 56th over, the fourth of the morning, as Yorkshire fell to 149-8.
His chances of 10 in the match were ended by the impressive seamer Dillon Pennington, who bowled Jack Brooks before having Josh Poysden caught at second slip in his next over to wrap up the win.
Worcestershire face Lancashire at Southport next week and Yorkshire host Somerset at Emerald Headingley.