Worcestershire Seconds Coach Kadeer Ali praised Academy player Rehaan Edavalath after he scored a superb century in the drawn two-day game with South Asian Cricket Academy at Stratford.
Edavalath celebrated his 18th birthday the day before and achieved his first half-century at Seconds level before converting his innings into three figures during Worcestershire’s total of 372-8 declared on day one.
It was a proud moment for the Wolverhampton born youngster when he reached his hundred by dispatching a full toss from Amrit Basra through mid-wicket for his 13th four.
Edavalath gradually accelerated with his first fifty taking 97 balls but then requiring only 58 deliveries to complete his century.
He eventually finished on 134 not out from 185 balls with 16 boundaries in a knock spanning four and a quarter hours.
Kadeer said: “He played beautifully. He was nice and composed in the middle session, left the ball really well, and clipped off his legs nicely.
“As he got into his innings, he freed up a bit and put the bad ball away really well and scored nearly 100 runs himself (98) in the final session.
“I’m really pleased. It is massive for him. He is a talented lad and has worked hard on his game. I’m so pleased he got a score like that so early in the season.”
Edavalath participated in the prestigious Bunbury Festival in 2018 and 2019 and then featured in the Super Fours last summer.
Another Academy player Oli Cox also scored his maiden half-century at Second Eleven level.
He was full of aggressive intent, and his 35 ball fifty contained 12 fours. He went onto make 69 before he played on to Basra.
Kadeer said: “Oli has come into this environment and played confidently, putting the bad ball away.
“Even in a few knocks before this, we’ve seen good things, like a quick 26 against Warwickshire at Portland Road last week and a couple of 40s last year.
Six of Worcestershire 2021-2022 Academy intake participated in the fixture, with Henry Cullen, Ollie Walker, Reeve Evitts and Olly Davidson the other four players.
Kadeer said: “I’m really pleased for them to get the chance at this level and hope they will get more opportunities.”
Tom Fell also hit a half-century, and there were useful knocks from Cullen (25), Evitts (23) and Ben Gibbon (21) before the overnight declaration.
Gibbon took the new ball when SACA launched their reply and bowled Owais Shah (6) in a lively opening spell of 7-2-19-1.
Cameron Jones also bowled a useful spell and was rewarded with two wickets.
Former Warwickshire player Andy Umeed was caught at first slip by Tom Fell for 30 after keeper Henry Cullen parried the ball.
Then ex Leicestershire batter, Aadil Ali, picked out Walker at square leg when on 65.
Scotland Under-19 spinner Davidson came into the attack and trapped former Kent and Yorkshire batter Mosun Hussain lbw for 27 and then had Zain Ul-Hassan (8) caught behind.
Ex Worcestershire Academy player, Zen Malik, completed a 150 ball hundred shortly after tea.
But he then became one of three wickets in quick succession to fall to Gibbon in an effective finale.
Gibbon accounted for Malik (114), Ashane Wijesuriya (30) and Fahid Sabir (0) as in total four wickets fell for seven runs.
The left armer finished with 4-58 from 20 overs, Davidson 3-87 from 18 overs and Jones 2-59 from 15 as SACA were dismissed for 345 in 77.4 overs.