Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Oliver And Kervezee In Century Stand After Morris Starts County Fightback

Oliver And Kervezee In Century Stand After Morris Starts County Fightback

Richard Oliver and Alexei Kervezee led a stirring fightback with the bat for Worcestershire on the second day of the LV = County Championship match with Gloucestershire at New Road.

Opener Oliver hit a career best 84 not out off 102 balls with 11 fours and Kervezee an unbeaten 50 during an unbroken stand of 122 in 30 overs.

It means that Worcestershire, who closed the second day on 154-2, now trail by only 30 runs with eight second innings wickets in hand.

But the bowlers also played a major role in ensuring Worcestershire remained in contention at the half-way stage of the game.

They picked up the eight remaining Gloucestershire first innings wickets for 197 runs despite a century from Alex Gidman.

It enabled Worcestershire to maintain their proud record of having claimed maximum bowling points for the 25th successive match.

Charlie Morris was the pick of the bowlers and finished with 3-73 to take his first class wicket tally for the campaign to 46.

But Joe Leach also bowled well and a deadly spell of 6.4-3-23-4 wrapped up the Gloucestershire innings – including Gidman for 146.

Bowling coach Matt Mason admitted the county attack had struggled on the opening day as Gloucestershire closed on 181-2 in reply to Worcestershire's 194 all out.

But it was a different story today.

Morris was quickly into his stride from the New Road End and began with a maiden over to Gidman who resumed on 57.

He then had Gidman on 69 dropped at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

But two balls later Morris made a deserved breakthrough when Gareth Roderick on 98 hooked him into the hands of Shaaiq Choudhry at long leg with the total on 203-2.

Roderick's stand with Gidman was worth 161 in 38.4 overs.

Morris bowled with hostility, accuracy and pace in an opening spell of 6-1-12-1.

Gidman led a charmed life during the latter stages of completing the 22nd first class century of his career.

He top edged Leach over keeper Ben Cox for four and then in the same over edged just past skipper Daryl Mitchell at second slip for another boundary.

A thick edge for four off Leach moved Gidman onto 96 and he then clipped the same bowler through mid-wicket to the ropes to reach three figures off 165 balls with 17 fours.

Spinner Shaaiq Choudhry was introduced into the attack and struck with his fourth delivery when Hamish Marshall (15) fell to a sharp catch by keeper Ben Cox with the Gloucestershire total on 260-4.

Gidman lofted Choudhry for six over long on before Morris returned for a second spell at the Diglis End.

He again posed a threat and deserved his third wicket of the innings when Ian Cockbain (2) went for a back foot slash which flew to Tom Fell at third slip.

Worcestershire took the new ball at 304-5 but it was Leach who started a procession of wickets when he returned to the attack.

He trapped Benny Howell lbw for 32 and ended Gidman's innings by bowling him after he had struck 22 fours and a six in his 232 ball knock.

Mark Craig (7) pulled a shortish ball from Jack Shantry into the hands of Morris before Leach mopped up the innings.

He had David Payne (0) caught by Kohler-Cadmore at first slip and bowled Craig Miles for 21 and has now taken 28 Championship wickets this season.

Worcestershire suffered an early setback when they began their second innings when skipper Daryl Mitchell (4) was undone by a lifting delivery from Craig Miles which he edged to Gidman at first slip.

Gidman also held onto an edge from Tom Fell (9) after he nicked a widish ball from David Payne to leave Worcestershire on 32-2.

But then Oliver and Kervezee took command for the remainder of the day.

Oliver initially played in the attacking style which is his trademark and his half century came up off just 41 balls with eight fours.

A six over mid-wicket by Kervezee off New Zealand spinner Mark Craig brought up the 50 partnership in just eight overs and the 100 stand came up in 24 overs.

Kervezee reached his own 50 in the penultimate over of the day.