Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Moeen Hits Unbeaten 70 After County’s Proud Bowling Record Comes To An End

Moeen Hits Unbeaten 70 After County’s Proud Bowling Record Comes To An End

Moeen Ali showed his class with the bat after Worcestershire's bowlers surrendered a proud 16 month record on the second day of the LV County Championship clash with Essex at Chelmsford.

The county had collected maximum bowling points from 27 successive matches in the LV = County Championship. But that sequence ended with Essex completing the 110 overs allowed for bonus points on 319-7.

Worcestershire had last failed to secure maximum bowling points against Leicestershire at New Road in May 2013.

They achieved that goal in the final 12 matches of last season and the first 15 of the current campaign.

It is a testament to the work put in by bowling coach Matt Mason and the efforts of the likes of the now retired Alan Richardson, Saeed Ajmal, Jack Shantry, Charlie Morris, Joe Leach, Gareth Andrew and Moeen Ali.

Jesse Ryder was again the chief thorn in Worcestershire's side as he followed up his 5-24 with the ball with a 101 ball century on the day he signed a new two year contract and was awarded his Essex county cap.

Essex were eventually bowled out for 431 – a lead of 347 on first innings – at tea.

Worcestershire reached 113-2 for the loss of openers Richard Oliver and Daryl Mitchell by the close with Moeen unbeaten on 70 from 106 balls with two sixes and eight fours.

His partnership with Tom Fell (13 not out) is so far worth 59.

Play was delayed for 15 minutes because of rain at the start of the day.

The 100 partnership between first day centurion Nick Browne and skipper James Foster came up in 29 overs.

Worcestershire skipper Mitchell rang the changes with six different bowlers employed in the first 12 overs.

It was Moeen Ali who made the first breakthrough when Browne on 118 was bowled by the England all-rounder.

Browne faced 241 balls and hit 17 fours and the partnership with Foster was worth 118 in 34 overs.

Brett D'Oliveira was brought back into the attack and he trapped Foster lbw for 48 at 226-5.

New batsman Kishen Velani was dropped on three by Tom Fell at third slip off Charlie Morris. It did not prove a costly miss and Velani on nine hooked at Morris and was caught by Jack Shantry at fine leg.

Morris struck again when he induced an edge from Graham Napier (2) and was caught at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore to leave Essex on 268-7 in the 91st over.

But then Ryder took control and figured in stands of 71 in 23 overs with David Masters and 76 in 10 overs with Monty Panesar.

His century contained two sixes and 13 fours. Moeen broke the Ryder-Masters partnership by having the latter caught by skipper Daryl Mitchell at slip for 18.

Panesar hit freely for his 38 before holing out to Alexei Kervezee in the deep off Shantry.

Shantry claimed a second wicket – his 56th of the season – to end the innings when he trapped James Porter lbw for five.

Ryder finished unbeaten on 120 from 117 balls with three sixes and 14 fours.

Worcestershire were left with 37 overs to bat in an extended final session and needed a solid start but after one fortunate boundary, Richard Oliver (6) edged to Browne at second slip off Ryder.

Mitchell needed treatment to his left hand after being struck by a Graham Napier delivery when on 11.

The 50 came up in the 16th over but Panesar struck in his first over when Mitchell (19) was adjudged lbw with the total on 19.

Moeen lofted Panesar for six and went to his half century from 74 deliveries. He then struck a six and two boundaries in the first over from Tom Westley to bring up the 100 in the 28th over.