Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Mitchell And Ton-Up Clarke Spark Impressive Worcs Fightback

Mitchell And Ton-Up Clarke Spark Impressive Worcs Fightback

Skipper Daryl Mitchell and centurion Joe Clarke led a splendid Worcestershire fightback on day one of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Derbyshire at New Road.

The home side were put into bat after an uncontested toss and quickly lost the wickets of Brett D'Oliveira and Tom Fell to Derbyshire paceman Tom Milnes with 36 runs on the board.

But then Mitchell and Clarke laid the foundations of a recovery with a stand of 109 in 36 overs as Worcestershire closed on 255-6 from 92 overs.

Mitchell completed 1,000 first class runs for the campaign as he continued the fine form shown in recent matches.

And Clarke maintained the consistent displays he has produced during 2016 in going past 1,000 Championship runs in his first full season of senior cricket.

His sixth first class ton of the season came from 200 balls with 13 fours and a six.

By the close the 20-year-old was unbeaten on 117.

Worcestershire suffered an early setback when D'Oliveira was bowled for a duck in Milnes' first over without a run on the board. 

Fell looked in prime form and reeled off a succession of impressive boundaries.

He raced onto 24 with six fours but then became Milnes' second victim when Alex Hughes held onto a sharp chance at third slip.

Mitchell was joined by Clarke and the third wicket pair slowly but surely brought about a recovery.

A handsome cover drive for four off Will Davis by Mitchell brought up the 50 stand in 15 overs.

He went to his own half century off 109 balls with eight fours via a square cut to the ropes off Milnes.

Clarke twice pulled Greg Cork for four and cover drove the same bowler to the boundary as the 100 partnership came up in 33 overs.

Ben Cotton eventually broke the stand when Mitchell was lbw for 67 to a delivery that zagged back.

An on drive for two off Will Davis took Clarke to his 50 off 108 deliveries with seven fours and he then lofted Wayne Madsen for six over long on.

George Rhodes (16) helped Clarke add 59 for the fourth wicket before he nicked a Cotton delivery and keeper Harvey Hosein clung onto a low catch to his right.

But Clarke was not to be denied and a single off Hughes took him to three figures out of 222-4 in the 80th over.

The new ball saw Derbyshire pick up two wickets as Tom Kohler-Cadmore (9) was bowled by Tony Palladino after shouldering arms and Ben Cox (5) fell to a juggling catch by Tom Wood at second slip off Cotton.