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Russell leads seconds fightback with unbeaten 81 at Cheltenham

Chris Russell led a Worcestershire fightback with the bat on the first day of the Second Eleven three-day friendly with Gloucestershire at Dean Close School, Cheltenham.

Russell, who played in the opening LV = County Championship match of the season against Hampshire, came to the wicket with Worcestershire on 170-7.

He proceeded to hit an unbeaten 81 off 100 balls with 10 fours and one six as the visitors recovered to reach 298 all out.

Russell shared in stands of 46 for the eighth wicket with George Rhodes (18) and 60 for the last wicket with Graeme Whiles (4).

Earlier in the day opener Alex Hepburn followed up his 74 against Derbyshire last week with 40 containing seven fours.

He shared a third wicket stand of 72 with skipper Joe Leach whose 44 came off 78 deliveries with seven boundaries in taking the total to 113-3.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals until Russell entered the action.

He also shared the new ball and by the close Gloucestershire had reached 44-0 off seven overs.

Worcestershire first innings: Hepburn lbw Smith 40, Oliver c Miles b McCarter 24, Fell c Herring b Miles 3, Leach c Herring b Smith 44, D'Oliveira c Herring b Miles 18, O. Ali lbw Howell 18, Rhodes run out 18, Randhawa run out 0, Russell not out 81, Cessford b Norwell 6, Whiles lbw Taylor 4. Extras 42. Total (all out) 298.

Bowling: Norwell 1-80, McCarter 1-35, Howell 1-38, Miles 2-28, Smith 2-52, Taylor 1-20. FOW: 32, 41, 113, 136, 157, 170, 170, 216, 238, 298.

Gloucestershire first innings: Howell not out 31, Housego not out 12, Extras 1. Total 44-0.

Bowling: Cessford 3-0-26-0, Russell 3-1-7-0, Randhawa 1-0-10-0.

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