Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Clarke Hits Century Before Tongue Double Strike On Debut

Clarke Hits Century Before Tongue Double Strike On Debut

Joe Clarke warmed up for the new season by hitting a century for Worcestershire on the opening day of the first class fixture with Oxford MCCU in The Parks.

The England Lions batsman slotted into the number three role in effective fashion in reaching his century off 133 balls out of 220-6.

He was eventually dismissed during the final session for 119 off 176 deliveries with 15 boundaries – his highest first class score and beating his 104 not out versus Sussex at New Road in September.

Some late hitting from Jack Shantry and Ed Barnard lifted the total to 345-9 declared from 83.3 overs.

Then Josh Tongue claimed his maiden first class wicket in dismissing Oxford opener Steve Leach – brother of County all-rounder Joe Leach.

Tongue also sent back Matthew Laidman as Oxford closed on 22-2 from 10 overs.

The County were delighted to taste some action after the wash-out of the two-day friendly with Somerset at Taunton Vale.

Paceman Josh Tongue made his first class debut for Worcestershire with Charlie Morris not playing of the 12 players selected for the three-day encounter.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell elected to bat after winning the toss and his opening partner was Brett D'Oliveira who had also filled the role with some success during the final part of last season.

D'Oliveira (3) was trapped lbw by Sam Weller with 13on the board before Mitchell and Clarke added 55 for the second wicket.

Mitchell was bowled by Abidine Sakande for 41 and Alexei Kervezee (0) was dismissed in the same manner by Jack Grundy.

Clarke went to his half century off 65 balls with 10 boundaries and Tom Kohler-Cadmore helped him add 66 in taking Worcestershire to 139-3 at lunch.

Kohler-Cadmore (19) departed to the second ball after lunch from Cornelis Bodenstein – caught by Steve Leach who is the younger brother of Worcestershire vice-captain Joe Leach.

Ross Whiteley made 13 from 47 balls before he became a second victim of Grundy who then bowled keeper Ben Cox (4) to leave Worcestershire on 190-6.

Clarke's second fifty only contained four boundaries and he went to three figures out of 220-6 with four at Sakande's expense.

Worcestershire reached 245-6 from 64 overs by tea with Clarke on 112 and Joe Leach 28 after adding 55.

The seventh wicket pair were both dismissed in successive overs from Hassam Mushtaq – Leach caught behind for 37 and Clarke bowled for 119, eighth out at 261.

But then Ed Barnard and Jack Shantry lifted the total past the 300 mark and brought up their half century partnership in nine overs.

They added 84 in 15.1 overs in total before Shantry, having made 45 off 42 balls with seven fours, was bowled by Malcolm Lake.

Barnard remained unbeaten on 38 from 54 balls with six boundaries at the declaration.

Joe Leach took the new ball and bowled at his brother Steve but it was Tongue who dismissed the younger of the two for six, caught by Joe Clarke with seven on the board.

Tongue then claimed the scalp of Laidman for 10, with Mitchell holding onto the chance, and he ended with figures of 5-1-12-2.