Monday, July 20th, 2015

County Fight Back With Ball Before Clarke Hits Unbeaten 76

County Fight Back With Ball Before Clarke Hits Unbeaten 76

Worcestershire fought back with the ball in the LV = County Championship match with Yorkshire at Scarborough but then lost wickets at steady intervals until Joe Clarke hit his career best score on a truncated second day.

The visitors claimed five wickets during the morning session to claim maximum bowling points for the 11th time in 11 matches this season.

Charlie Morris enjoyed a treble success as Yorkshire, who resumed on 357-5, were bowled out for 430 in 108.2 overs.

Worcestershire lost half their side for 127 but 19-year-old Clarke gave them hope of avoiding the follow target of 281 after hitting his third half century in just six Championship appearances.

The former England Under-19 keeper finished the day unbeaten on 76 made from 105 balls with one six and five fours.

It surpassed his previous best of 70 made in the win over Hampshire at New Road in the last game after he scored his maiden 50 against visiting Warwickshire.

Ben Cox (15) gave him good support in a stand of 56 in 14.1 overs before being dismissed shortly before the close and Worcestershire ended the day on 195-6.

Joe Leach made the first breakthrough of the day for Worcestershire with his fourth wicket of the innings – and 48th of the campaign – as Tim Bresnan (28) nicked through to Ross Whiteley at first slip.

Morris then picked up three wickets in the space of three overs.

He had Liam Plunkett (10) caught behind by Ben Cox, bowled Steven Patterson (1) and saw Jack Brookes (0) provide Whiteley with his fourth catch of the innings.

Andrew Gale continued to bat superbly and was last out for 164 – pouched by Daryl Mitchell at second slip off Jack Shantry – for 164 from 297 balls with 19 fours.

Leach finished with 4-139 from 27 overs, Morris 3-90 from 30 overs and there was one wicket apiece for Shantry, Brett D'Oliveira and Saeed Ajmal.

Worcestershire openers Mitchell and Richard Oliver survived a tricky five over spell before lunch but five wickets fell during the afternoon session.

Oliver (18) could count himself unfortunate in falling to one of the catches of the season by Plunkett at fourth slip off the bowling of Jack Brooks with 32 on the board.

After a brief break for rain, Mitchell was adjudged lbw to Patterson for 14 although he looked to have got a good stride in.

Tom Fell looked in good touch, twice driving Brooks for four and repeating the stroke against Bresnan but after making 30 Jack Leaning pulled off an excellent catch at second slip off Plunkett.

D'Oliveira (13) nibbled at a Patterson delivery and was caught behind by first day century-maker Jonny Bairstow.

Ross Whitelely (6) was unable to repeat his form of the T20 Blast clash between the sides at Headingley before Leaning held onto another chance and gave Patterson his third success.

Clarke provided the most resistance and he pulled Adil Rashid for six before the players left the field for a lengthy spell at tea.

They resumed at 5.55pm but for only three balls before bad light caused another stoppage with Clarke unbeaten on 43 from 64 balls.

There were 14 overs left when the players emerged again. Clarke went to a deserved half century – off 75 balls – and he and Cox took the total to 175 before the latter fell to Brooks in the third last over of the day, caught at mid wicket by Rashid.

Leach collected two boundaries in the final over from Brooks.