Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Fell Scores Superb Century As Worcs Secure Two Batting Points

Fell Scores Superb Century As Worcs Secure Two Batting Points

Tom Fell scored a superb 100 for Worcestershire on the opening day of the LV = County Championship match with champions Yorkshire at New Road.

Fell thrilled a crowd of around 2,000 in the cold conditions with a series of handsome cover drives and shots off his legs after Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell had elected to bat on his side's return to the top flight.

The 21-year-old, who scored two Championship hundreds last season, shared in a third wicket stand of 118 in 35 overs with Moeen Ali.

Fell was eventually dismissed for 114, falling to a fine legside catch by keeper Andrew Hodd off one-time England paceman Tim Bresnan.

It was a day of typically tough Division One cricket of see-sawing fortunes but Worcestershire battled hard against a top notch attack to eke out two batting points.

Some useful late order contributions from Gareth Andrew and Jack Shantry lifted the total to 264-8 from 82 overs before bad light halted play.

Fell and Mooen had joined forces with Worcestershire 11-2 after the early loss of openers Richard Oliver and Mitchell.

Fell was first to his 50 off 75 balls with eight fours and Moeen brought up his half century off 100 deliveries, also with eight boundaries.

The stand was eventually broken when Moeen was caught behind by Hodd after driving at Bresnan.

Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake was included for his Worcestershire debut after arriving in this country yesterday morning.

There was also a Championship debut for batsman Alex Gidman after his move from Gloucestershire on a two year contract.

Moeen was participating in his first competitive match since suffering a side strain while on World Cup duty with England.

Jack Brooks made the first breakthrough for Yorkshire when Oliver (0) was caught behind by Hodd.

Moeen came to the wicket to rapturous applause and got off the mark when he edged Sidebottom for a four which Hodd got a glove to but could not hold onto the sharp chance.

Brooks claimed a second wicket when Mitchell (4) caught off  a fine delivery by Jack Leaning at second slip with Worcestershire 11-2 in the eighth over.

Fell immediately looked in good touch and collected successive fours from a cover drive and deliberate steer to third man off Brooks.

Brooks was rested after an impressive spell of 6-3-10-2 and replaced by Bresnan.

Moeen cover drove and straight drove Steve Patterson for boundaries but was dropped at extra cover by Will Rhodes off the same bowler when on 21.

A leg glance for four by Fell off Bresnan brought up the 50 in the 24th over.

Richard Pyrah's opening over cost 14 runs and contained three boundaries from Fell.

Worcestershire reached 77-2 by lunch from 30 overs and after the interval Moeen and Fell upped the tempo with six boundaries in the first five overs.

The 100 stand came up in 27 overs.

After Bresnan had broken the stand by dismissing Moeen, he then trapped Gidman lbw for seven and saw Fell on 66 dropped by Hodd.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore attempted to pull the returning Brooks and was bowled via an edge for three to provide Bresnan with his third wicket with Worcestershire then 171-5 in the 59th over.

Fell moved into the 90s with a legside three off spinner Karl Carver.

By tea Fell had moved onto 99 not out and Ben Cox nine not out with Worcestershire 190-5 from 64 overs.

Fell reached three figures in the first over after the resumption with a flick off his legs for four against Sidebottom.

It came from 174 balls and contained 15 fours.

In the same over Cox fell to a fine low catch by Bresnan at third slip without adding to his tea tally.

Fell was seventh out at 216 but then Andrew, in his first Championship match for 11 months, and Shantry added 39 in nine overs to carry the home side to a second batting point.

Shantry smote spinner Karl Carver for six over long on before being lbw to Steve Patterson for 15.

Andrew reeled off a series of aggressive strokes and was unbeaten on 42 before the light closed in.