Worcestershire 284 and 145 (McIlroy 5-34) beat Glamorgan 170 (van Beek 4-42, Pennington 3-43) and 179 (Root 84*, van Beek 4-46)
Worcestershire strengthened their grip on second place in Division Two of the LV=Insurance County Championship as they defeated promotion rivals Glamorgan by 80 runs at New Road.
Once again all members of their four-pronged seam attack bowled with discipline on a wicket which still offered them sufficient encouragement. Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira’s first innings knock of 74 not out was also a crucial contribution and they were able to survive a second innings collapse of nine wickets for 64 runs to collect 20 points from the game.
Worcestershire are now 31 points ahead of Glamorgan in the battle for the second promotion spot, behind Durham who are their next opponents in two weeks at New Road. Leicestershire are emerging as their biggest challengers after their win over Gloucestershire leaves them eight points behind in third, with a game in hand.
Worcestershire resumed day three on 127 for eight and McIlroy claimed one of the last two wickets to complete his first five-for in first-class cricket. D’Oliveira was caught low down at second slip cutting at James Harris and then last man Dillon Pennington fell to a one-handed return catch by McIlroy. He finished with the excellent figures of 5 for 34 as the innings was wrapped up in 6.5 overs for the addition of 18 runs.
Pennington and Joe Leach shared the new ball and the latter soon claimed his 44th wicket of the season when Ed Byrom was lbw to a delivery swinging into him. Former Worcestershire Academy player Zain Ul Hassan was put down at midwicket off van Beek but it did not prove a costly miss as three wickets fell for seven runs.
Colin Ingram drove at the Netherlands international and for the second time in the game perished to Jake Libby at third slip. Ul Hassan played down the wrong line and was bowled by on-loan Essex allrounder Ben Allison from a ball angled in. It became 37 for four when Kiran Carlson went lbw to van Beek to another delivery swinging into his pads.
Much responsibility now rested on Sam Northeast and Billy Root and they added 48 in 11 overs as Leach and Pennington returned for a post-lunch burst. As is often the case, Leach made the crucial breakthrough when Northeast was pouched low down at first slip by Adam Hose. He waited to check with the square leg umpire that the ball had carried before departing.
Root played with plenty of aggression and completed a 53 ball half-century when he square drove van Beek for his 10th boundary. But Allison came back into the attack and accounted for Chris Cooke who looked to work the ball on the leg side but only edged to Libby who dived forward from third slip to take the catch.
Ben Kellaway collected a pair when he tried in vain to kick a delivery from van Beek away from his stumps after it had spun back, and James Harris drove hard at Dillon Pennington and fell to a sharp catch by Jack Haynes at second slip.
Worcestershire moved to within one wicket of victory when Hose snaffled van der Gugten at first slip off the persevering Leach. It was all over when van Beek bowled McIlroy to leave Root undefeated on 114 over the two innings.