Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Moeen Falls Two Short Of Ton As Promoted Worcs Go Down At Chelmsford

Moeen Falls Two Short Of Ton As Promoted Worcs Go Down At Chelmsford

Moeen Ali fell two short of his century as promoted Worcestershire went down to an innings and 92 runs defeat at the end of an excellent season in the LV = County Championship clash with Essex at Chelmsford.

Moeen resumed on 70 and a had a let off on 91 when Tom Westley dropped a chance at second slip off David Masters.

But after making a fine 98 he top-edged a delivery from Graham Napier to Greg Smith at mid wicket.

That was the third wicket of the over for Napier in a destructive morning spell which brought him five wickets.

But Brett D'Oliveira and Jack Shantry provided defiance during a ninth wicket stand of 91 in 19 overs as Worcestershire were dismissed for 255 in the 73rd over.

The main objective of being promoted was achieved with a game to spare and no-one has matched Worcestershire's tally of eight victories in 16 matches.

The entire bowling attack stepped up to the plate in 2014 after the retirement of Alan Richardson and achieved maximum bonus points in the opening 15 games.

On the batting front, the experienced duo of Daryl Mitchell and Moeen, when available because of England commitments, performed excellently but there were also crucial contributions at different stages from the entire young batting line-up.

Worcestershire resumed on 113-2 and Moeen and Tom Fell took the score to 136 before the latter on 21 was bowled by David Masters.

His determined innings spanned 80 balls and 95 minutes and the partnership with Moeen was worth 82 in 28.1 overs.

Napier came into the attack for Jesse Ryder and picked up two wickets in his first over when he trapped Alexei Kervezee (0) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) lbw with the fourth and sixth balls of the over.

The Essex paceman then struck with the first, second and fifth deliveries of the 54th over. Ben Cox (13) was caught behind, Joe Leach (0) was adjudged lbw and then Moeen's fine knock came to an end.

The ninth wicket pair of D'Oliveira and Shantry produced a series of attacking shots.

Shantry picked up three boundaries in an over from Napier and a six by D'Oliveira off Westley brought up the 50 partnership.

Worcestershire lunched on 238-8 and the innings was wrapped up soon after the resumption.

First Shantry (38) was bowled by Ravi Bopara and then D'Oliveira (44) fell in the same manner in the next over from James Porter.