Josh Dell top-scored with 82 as four Worcestershire CCC batsmen scored half-centuries on the opening day of the Second Eleven Championship match with Somerset at Taunton Vale today.
Opener Dell occupied the crease for five hours and shared a century stand and two fifty-plus partnerships as Worcestershire totalled 306-5 from 96 overs and picked up three batting bonus points.
Jack Haynes, Alex Milton and skipper Ross Whiteley all passed 50 on a productive day for the County in this four-day fixture.
Worcestershire included former Yorkshire slow left-arm spinner James Logan in their line-up alongside all-rounder Euan Woods, who played alongside Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch at the 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup.
Whiteley elected to bat on winning the toss, and openers Haynes and Dell made a positive start against an experienced Somerset attack.
Haynes steered Jack Brooks, who has taken 475 first-class wickets, to the third man boundary and then cover drove the same bowler for four.
Dell produced an array of strokes at the expense of Ned Leonard with an on drive, an off drive and a clip off his legs, all bringing boundaries.
The 50 partnership came up in 89 balls.
Haynes continued to score freely, and he turned a leg-side full toss from Lewis Goldsworthy for two to complete his half-century.
It came off 99 balls and contained six fours.
The openers did a splendid job coming through the morning session without being parted on 100-0 from 32 overs, with Haynes unbeaten on 50 and Dell 35 not out.
They advanced their stand to 113 before Haynes (59) edged a delivery from Ben Green which bounced on him and was caught behind.
Green struck again when Jacques Banton (8) was lbw to a ball which nipped back.
Milton was full of positive shots from the start and collected a succession of boundaries, including a cut of Ned Leonard and a square drive on the up off Sonny Baker.
Dell went to his half-century off 136 balls with his ninth boundary – a pull off Baker.
The second 100 runs were scored in only 24.2 overs, and Milton brought up his half-century off just 43 balls with a cover drive off Matt Foster for his tenth four.
A stand of 83 in 17.3 overs with Dell was broken just before tea when Milton (57) drove Green to cover.
Dell was joined by Whiteley, and the pair added a further 55 before the second new ball was taken immediately at 265-3 from 80 overs.
It brought an end to Dell’s patient knock spanning 80.2 overs when he attempted to pull Leonard and top-edged a catch to Brooks running around to mid-off.
He faced a total of 208 balls and hit 12 boundaries.
Whiteley pressed his foot on the accelerator with a pull and cover drive for fours off Leonard, and the 300 came up in 93.3 overs.
He reached his half-century in the penultimate over – from 113 balls with eight fours – with a superb cover drive at Foster’s expense.
It was Whiteley’s third half-century this season for the Seconds after his 62 against Exeter University and 59 versus Gloucestershire, and he ended unbeaten on 53.
Woods (18) was caught at first slip in the final over of the day from Green, who picked up his fourth wicket.