Monday, June 16th, 2014

Mitchell Hits Fourth Century Of Season And Fell First Of Career At Grace Road

Mitchell Hits Fourth Century Of Season And Fell First Of Career At Grace Road

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell scored his fourth century of the season in the LV = County Championship and Tom Fell the first of his career against Leicestershire at Grace Road today.

Mitchell reached three figures off 160 balls with a boundary – the 14th of his innings – off Charlie Shreck on the third morning of the Division Two encounter.

It followed on from his century against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl and two in two innings against Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium.

Fell had been denied a first hundred last season when he was unbeaten on 94 against Kent before the final day was washed out.

But this time he went to the landmark with a four on the legside off Dan Redfern. It came off 215 balls with 12 fours.

He survived a chance to Redfern at first slip off Richard Jones when on 29.

Mitchell and Fell came together at 18-1 yesterday evening with Worcestershire still 23 in arrears and extended their partnership to 178 in 55 overs.

Nathan Buck broke the stand when Mitchell on 120 lost his leg stump to a ball which did not bounce a lot and came back in.

It took his run tally for the season to 920 but Hampshire's James Vince today became the first player to score 1,000 runs in 2014 during his double hundred against Essex.

First innings century-maker Alexei Kervezee and Fell added 111 in 27 overs before the former on 57 fell shortly before tea.

Fell was unbeaten on 120 out of 312-3 at the interval – a lead of 271.

Paceman Charlie Morris had yesterday returned his best figures for Worcestershire to lead a second day fightback.

Morris returned figures of 4-76 from 22.2 overs as Leicestershire were bowled out for 278 and restricted to a first innings advantage of 41.

Worcestershire quickly lost the wicket of opener Matt Pardoe in reply but an unbroken partnership of 58 in 20 overs between skipper Mitchell and Fell steered them to 76-1 by the close – and they extended that today.

Morris's figures surpassed his previous best figures of 3-31 against Kent at New Road and took his Championship wicket tally to 25 for the campaign.

He was well supported by fellow pacemen Jack Shantry (3-66) and Joe Leach (2-56).

Their combined efforts enabled Worcestershire to maintain their 100 per cent record in securing maximum bowling points from all nine Championship matches in 2014.

Leicestershire, without a Championship win since 2012, were well placed at 162-3 but lost their last seven wickets for 116 runs.

The home side resumed on 58-2 and lost their third wicket without addition to the score when a delivery from Shantry jagged back and trapped Greg Smith (22) lbw.

But then skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan and Josh Cobb dug in and denied Worcestershire any further breakthroughs before lunch.

Cobb was the more aggressive and his innings was a mixture of some fine attacking shots and edges through or over the slips.

Leicestershire started the afternoon session on 156-3 but the stand of 104 was broken with only six runs added when Cobb (63) edged a delivery from Shantry to Fell at third slip.

Sarwan batted nearly three hours for his 46 but departed when he hooked at a good bouncer from Morris and perished to a good catch by Pardoe at long leg.

Worcestershire encountered further resistance from Niall O'Brien and Championship debutant Redfern during a stand of 56.

But Leach removed them both in successive overs with Redfern (21) falling to a sharp catch by Mitchell at second slip and O'Brien (29) nicking through to keeper Ben Cox.

Mitchell also held onto a edge from Richard Jones (3) off Saeed Ajmal and the Cox-Morris combination accounted for Ben Raine (7) to leave Leicestershire on 240-9 – just three runs ahead.

That lead was stretched to 41 by Nathan Buck and Charlie Shreck before the Cox-Morris partnership removed the latter for 19.

Worcestershire started their second innings after a late tea and Pardoe (7) edged a ball of extra bounce from Buck to Smith in the slip cordon with 18 on the board.

Mitchell and Fell took the total past the 50 mark in the 19th over and saw their side through safely to the close.