Friday, August 5th, 2016

Maiden Fifty For Rhodes But Worcs Facing Uphill Survival Battle

George Rhodes scores his maiden half century in the Specsavers County Championship but Worcestershire are facing an uphill battle to avoid defeat on the final day of the clash with Kent at Canterbury tomorrow.

Rhodes and skipper Daryl Mitchell gave Worcestershire an ideal start to their second innings which they began facing a deficit of 240 after Kent were finally bowled out for 451.

They put on 94 but then wickets fell at regular intervals and Worcestershire will resume on 213-6 – still needing a further 27 to make Kent bat again.

Kent's tenth wicket pair of Will Gidman – brother of former Worcestershire player Alex Gidman – and Mitchell Claydon extended their partnership to 75 from 21.3 overs.

Rhodes finally bowled Claydon for 46 to leave Gidman unbeaten on 75 – from 135 balls with eight fours – as the last four wickets added 208.

Gidman, who is on loan from Nottinghamshire, also went past 3,000 first class runs during the course of his innings.

As he left the field for lunch Claydon, Kent's leading championship wicket-taker in 2016, was presented with his numbered Kent county cap No 213.

Ed Barnard finished with 3-97, Rhodes 2-83, Joe Leach 2-87, Charlie Morris 2-72 and Kyle Abbott 1-93.

Kent strove for an early breakthrough but Mitchell and Rhodes were in defiant mood and saw Worcestershire safely through to lunch at 42-0.

Rhodes survived a huge appeal for a catch at the wicket in his 30s after a failed attempt to hook a Matt Coles bouncer.

But he went on to comlete his half-century from 103 balls and with seven fours in only his second Championship match – and first as opener.

The mid-afternoon introduction of Gidman broke the stand when Rhodes (55) had his off stump plucked out by a Gidman yorker.

Eleven runs on Mitchell (43) in aiming to work to leg went lbw to another full-length Gidman delivery.

Then, on the stroke of tea, Tom Fell called for a risky single to cover and Alex Blake swooped to run out Joe Clarke (10) at the striker’s end.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore (17) played positively but Claydon uprooted his off stump and, when Fell (32) was lbw after sweeping at James Tredwell, Worcestershire had lost five wickets in the space of 25 overs.

Ben Cox twice swept Tredwell for six while Ross Whiteley defended defiantly before getting off the mark from his 35th delivery.

But in the last over of the day Tredwell struck again in bowling Whiteley (15) to leave Cox undefeated on 35.