Friday, August 15th, 2014

County Aiming To Bounce Back After Gloucs Enjoy Better Of Opening Day

Worcestershire will be looking to bounce back with early wickets tomorrow after Gloucestershire enjoyed the better of the opening day of the LV = County Championship clash at New Road.

Gloucestershire exploited the bowler-friendly conditions after winning the toss in bowling Worcestershire out for a below-par 194 in 51.4 overs – their lowest Championship score of the campaign.

Richard Oliver top-scored with 52 for the home side and then Joe Leach and Charlie Morris added a defiant 46 for the last wicket – the highest partnership of the innings.

Then a century partnership between Gareth Roderick and Alex Gidman enabled Gloucestershire to reach 181-2 off 44 overs by the close as Worcestershire struggled to bowl the right lines and lengths.

It was a rare off day for the bowlers who have taken maximum points in all 12 Championship matches so far this season.

Worcestershire were put into bat on a green-tinged pitch and Oliver was quickly into his side with a four backward of point off Craig Miles.

The left hander then cut, drove and pulled David Payne for three boundaries in quick succession.

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell registered his first duck of his memorable season with 17 on the board when he was adjudged lbw against Miles with a ball which kept low.

Oliver continued to score at a healthy rate although he had one slice of good fortune with an edge over the slips for four off Miles.

Tom Fell, who finished as Worcestershire's leading scorer in the Royal London One-Day Cup, edged through to wicket-keeper Gareth Roderick on seven to provide Miles with his second wicket.

The 50 came up in the 12th over and new batsman Alexei Kervezee on one was dropped at point off Miles.

Oliver was dealing almost exclusively in boundaries and reached his half century off just 46 balls with 12 fours out of 74-2.

It was his fourth score of 50 or more in his fourth Championship appearance for the county.

But after making 52 he nibbled at a Benny Howell delivery and was caught behind to leave Worcestershire on 81-3.

The 100 came up in the 23rd over but in the penultimate over before lunch Tom Kohler-Cadmore (7) provided Roderick with his third catch.

Kervezee remained unbeaten on 31 at the interval with the total 112-4 from 29 overs.

But he failed to add to his score before being trapped lbw by Liam Norwell in the first over after lunch.

Ben Cox opted for an aggressive approach, pulling Miles for two fours and a six.

Joe Leach (1) was caught at mid-wicket off a mistimed pull from a Miles delivery and Cox (25) edged Howell through to Roderick.

Jack Shantry and Mitchell McClenaghan were both dismissed for a single before Choudhry and Morris provided last wicket resistance.

Morris eventually provided Roderick with his fifth catch of the innings after making a Championship best 24 to leave Choudhry unbeaten on 27.

McClenaghan made an early breakthrough for Worcestershire when Chris Dent (8) was adjudged lbw with 12 on the board.

Morris claimed his 40th Championship wicket of the campaign when Will Tavare (23) drove to Fell who held onto a good catch at second slip.

That was the end of Worcestershire's tangible success for the day as Roderick and Gidman reached their half centuries off 52 and 75 balls respectively.