Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Dolly And Clarke Sparkle On Opening Day Versus Sussex

Dolly And Clarke Sparkle On Opening Day Versus Sussex

Brett D'Oliveira and Joe Clarke continued their superb start to the campaign for Worcestershire on day one of the Specsavers County Championship campaign with Sussex at New Road.

D'Oliveira came within one run of a third successive century as he continued in the same vein as his 128 against Essex and 202 not out versus Glamorgan.

Clarke again looked full of class in making 82 with some breathtaking strokes.

The pair of them were both eventually dismissed by spinner Luke Wells when within sight of their fourth first class hundreds of the campaign.

D'Oliveira hit 13 boundaries and faced 154 balls and has now scored 598 first class runs this season.

Clarke struck nine fours from 117 deliveries and has amassed 479 first class runs since the start of the campaign.

Then there was the pleasing sight of Ross Whiteley hitting his first Championship 50 of the season and he and Tom Kohler-Cadmore built on the earlier foundations in the final session of the day.

Worcestershire closed on 382-4 from 96 overs.

D'Oliveira reeled off a series of impressive strokes and he moved onto 99 when flicking spinner Luke Wells off his legs for two.

But he then cut the same bowler into the hands of Harry Finch at gulley.

He was given excellent support by skipper Daryl Mitchell (43) in an opening stand of 113 and added another 77 with Joe Clarke.

After D'Oliveira's dismissal, Clarke continued to entertain the home crowd before he popped up a simple return catch to Wells.

Sussex opted for the toss to take place rather than automatically bowl first but the coin fell in Mitchell's favour and the Worcestershire skipper opted to bat.

Former Worcestershire paceman Steve Magoffin and Ollie Robinson shared the new ball.

Robinson's opening over cost 13 runs with D'Oliveira cutting and cover-driving him for four.

Mitchell also collected two boundaries in Robinson's second over.

He then turned Lewis Hatchett of his legs to the ropes to bring up the County's 50 in the 15th over.

Mitchell produced one of the shots of the morning – a powerful cover-drive for four at Robinson's expense.

The 100 partnership between D'Oliveira and Mitchell came up in 30 overs.

D'Oliveira reached his half century with a leg glance to the boundary off Robinson.

Worcestershire reached 109-0 off 33 overs by lunch with D'Oliveira on 53 and Mitchell 41.

The stand was broken in the third over after lunch when Mitchell toe ended a Stuart Whittingham delivery and Magoffin took a good low catch at mid on.

Clarke looked in good nick from ball one and he and D'Oliveira upped the tempo of the innings in raising their 50 stand in just eight overs.

D'Oliveira, who yesterday scored 150 for Ombersley in a Birmingham League fixture, seemed set another ton until Wells brought about his downfall.

His dismissal brought in Alexei Kervezee and he got off the mark with a two off Robinson which brought up the 200 and secured Worcestershire their first point in the 55th over.

The former Dutch international made 29 before he was bowled by Whittingham after adding 54 in 16 overs with Clarke.

It was a surprise when Clarke was dismissed, such was his dominance over the Sussex attack, at 281-4 in the 72nd over.

But Kohler-Cadmore and Whiteley figured in another productive stand.

Whiteley lofted Wells for six backward of square and also added seven fours in going to his half century from 63 balls.

The 100 partnership with Kohler-Cadmore was completed in 23 overs in the penultimate over of the day.

Whiteley ended unbeaten on 54 and Kohler-Cadmore  on 43.