Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Leach Inspires Fightback But County Batsmen Also Have To Battle

Leach Inspires Fightback But County Batsmen Also Have To Battle

Joe Leach inspired a superb Worcestershire fightback before lunch on day two of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

The County all-rounder produced morning figures of 8.1-2-17-5 as Leicestershire, who resumed on 253-4, were bowled out for 316 in 106.1 overs.

It enabled Worcestershire to collect maximum bowling points as they recovered in style after a disappointing opening day with the ball and in the field.

But the Worcestershire batsmen also had to battle hard for runs when they launched their reply and half of the side were dismissed for 126 before Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Cox posted an invaluable partnership of 77.

They eventually closed on 249-8 – 67 runs behind – with Matt Henry making another useful contribution with the bat as 14 wickets fell during the day.

Leach had also taken five wickets in a pre-lunch session against Essex at New Road after going wicket-less the previous day.

Last season's leading wicket-taker now has 19 Championship victims during the current campaign.

Leach shared the new ball with Matt Henry and the Worcestershire vice-captain struck in successive overs.

Mark Pettini (49) fell to an excellent catch at second slip by skipper Daryl Mitchell and then Nial O'Brien (13) was trapped lbw by an inswinging delivery.

Jack Shantrey got in on the act and Mitchell again had a safe pair of hands as Tom Wells (18) flashed at the ball outside the off stump and got a nick.

Leach returned to the attack and his first delivery got rid of Aadil Ali (21) who feathered a catch to keeper Ben Cox.

The 25-year-old quickly polished off the innings as Clint McKay (0) went in the same over with Tom Kohler-Cadmore accepting the chance at first slip.

That wicket secured the third bowling point and the innings was wrapped up when Leach bowled Ben Raine for five.

Worcestershire were left three overs batting before lunch and the in-form Brett D'Oliveira was dropped on nought by Neil Dexter at third slip off Raine.

D'Oliveira and Mitchell saw Worcestershire to 6-0 by the interval.

There was a second let-off for D'Oliveira when on three with Dexter again spilling the chance off McKay.

D'Oliveira and skipper Daryl Mitchell upped the tempo after the first four overs after lunch had been maidens.

Sixteen runs came off an over from Raine but the stand was broken on 47 when Mitchell (25) was lbw to Dexter.

Joe Clarke produced several pleasing drives in making a quickfire 16 with four boundaries but he then edged an away swinger from Charlie Shreck to keeper Niall O'Brien.

D'Oliveira passed 500 Championship runs for the campaign when on 27.

But when three short of his half century, D'Oliveira was bowled by Dexter with a delivery which swung back into him with Worcestershire 94-3.

Alexei Kervezee had scored a superb century in the corresponding game two years ago but after making 11 he fell lbw to McKay.

The 11th wicket of the day went down in the third over after tea when Ross Whiteley (2) shouldered arms and was bowled by Shreck.

There was a brief interruption for bad light and when the players returned Cox had a let off on 21, dropped at second slip by Robson off Dexter.

But he then lofted Shreck over deep square leg to bring up the 50 partnership with Kohler-Cadmore.

The sixth wcket pair lifted Worcestershire to their first batting bonus point but both fell in successive balls with the total on 203.

Kohler-Cadmore, having made a disciplined 44 off 111 balls with five fours, was lbw to Raine and then Cox, whose more aggressive 49 contained six fours and a six, was bowled by McKay.

Bowling hero Joe Leach went in the same manner to Raine for six but then Henry (30 not out) and Shantry (11 not out) added an unbroken 34 for the ninth wicket.