Monday, July 14th, 2014

County Fightback To Earn First Innings Lead On See Saw Day At New Road

County Fightback To Earn First Innings Lead On See Saw Day At New Road

Worcestershire fought back and claimed eight wickets for 86 runs to earn a first innings lead of 41 on the second day of the LV = County Championship clash with Leicestershire at New Road.

Leicestershire were well placed at 194-2 in reply to Worcestershire's 321 all out. But then the home side took command and maintained their record of claiming maximum bowling points for the 23rd match in succession.

Saeed Ajmal (4-66) and Joe Leach, with a burst of three wickets in 11 balls, did most of the damage as Leicestershire were dismissed for 280 in 71.5 overs.

The game took another twist when Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell departed cheaply as their side closed on 48-2 with Richard Oliver 35 not out.

Worcestershire had resumed on 317-9 in their first innings with Shaaiq Choudhry unbeaten on 40 and Morris one.

The pair added four more runs in 4.3 overs before Choudhry (42) was caught at deep mid wicket by Angus Robson after attempting to pull Charlie Shreck.

Shantry and Morris shared the new ball for the home side and Greg Smith picked up two boundaries in one over from the latter.

Shantry switched ends after an initial three over spell and was rewarded with the first breakthrough of the innings. Robson on 11 was trapped lbw by the left armer with the total on 34 in the 10th over.

It was Shantry's 33rd Championship wicket of the current campaign.

Smith collected a streaky four via an edge against Leach but produced an impressive cover drive at Shantry's expense as the 50 came up in the 12th over.

Ajmal, in the last appearance of his current spell with Worcestershire, was introduced into the attack at 73-1 off 16 overs.

He was soon in tandem with the county's other spinner in Choudhry who entered the action at 89-1.

Smith reached his half century off 68 balls with nine fours as Leicestershire reached 98-1 off 25 overs by lunch.

Ajmal, who had taken 56 wickets in his previous eight games, picked up victim number 57 when Ned Eckersley (48) played back to a ball which kept low and was bowled.

Eckersley had featured in a stand of 91 in 21 overs with Smith and last season scored three hundreds in three Championship innings against Worcestershire.

Smith was then given good support by Dan Redfern in a partnership of 69 in 18 overs.

But Ajmal struck again when Smith, having made 85 off 138 balls with 13 fours, was caught by Tom Kohler-Cadmore at second slip.

Redfern reached his first half century for Leicestershire off 53 balls But his promising knock was ended when Shantry returned to the attack and trapped him lbw for 57.

Worcestershire then made a double breakthrough in the two overs before tea.

First Niall O'Brien, having pulled the previous delivery for six, drove fiercely at Charlie Morris and was caught at slip by Mitchell at the second attempt for 12.

Then the last ball before the interval accounted for Rob Taylor who had failed to trouble the scorers when he pushed forward to Ajmal and was caught at silly point.

Ajmal collected his 60th Championship wicket of the season when Leicestershire skipper Josh Cobb (30) was beaten in the flight and fell lbw.

Then Leach then wrapped up the innings in quickfire fashion. Jigar Naik (12) was bowled by a delivery which kept low, Nathan Buck (4) departed to a sharp catch by keeper Ben Cox standing up and Charlie Shreck (0) drove loosely and was also bowled.

Worcestershire were left with 15 overs batting and Mitchell (4) was dismissed when he drove at Buck and was caught behind. In the same over Fell departed lbw for a duck with the total still on 21.