Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Oliver And Moeen Entertain Crowd With Afternoon Run Spree

Oliver And Moeen Entertain Crowd With Afternoon Run Spree

Worcestershire's Richard Oliver and Moeen Ali produced a display of superb hitting during the afternoon session on the third day of the LV = County Championship clash with Glamorgan at New Road.

The pair plundered 123 off only 24 overs for the second wicket as the county built on their first innings lead of 55 after Saeed Ajmal's five wicket haul had helped to dismiss the visitors for 297.

By tea Worcestershire had moved onto 185-3 – an overall lead of 240.

Oliver, who was making his Championship debut, was dropped twice but in between produced a series of powerful strokes in reaching his maiden 50 off 68 balls with 10 fours.

He reached the landmark with a cut for four off spinner Dean Cosker. It followed on from his 292 not out for the Seconds against Warwickshire at Barnt Green last week – the fourth double century of his career.

Moeen was equally free-scoring and brought up his half century off just 54 deliveries with a six and seven fours by sweeping Cosker to the boundary.

He lofted spinner Andrew Salter for a six over mid wicket and straight drove the same bowler for four in his opening over which cost 11 runs.

The England all-rounder also cover drove and pulled Jim Allenby for boundaries in the same over.

The mid-session drinks came as a welcome break for Glamorgan as 13 overs had realised 87 runs.

It was Cosker who ended the partnership with the total on 140 when Oliver played forward and was bowled. His 65 came off 97 balls and contained 12 fours.

Moeen, in his last innings before the first Investec Test against India at Trent Bridge on July 9, continued to entertain the healthy sized crowd.

But after making 80 he mistimed a forcing shot against Cosker and lobbed up a catch to Salter at mid-off with the total on 177.

Ajmal completed his fifth haul of five or more wickets in an innings this season to earn Worcestershire a first innings lead of 55.

The Pakistan spin wizard picked up three wickets this morning as Glamorgan were bowled out for 297 in the 93rd over.

Ajmal finished with figures of 5-106 from 34.2 overs to take his Championship wicket tally to 49 in eight games during 2014.

The lead would have been more considerable but for a last wicket stand of 68 between Michael Hogan (36) and Andrew Salter (25 not out).

Glamorgan resumed on 223-7 and the efforts of Joe Leach and Ajmal quickly reduced them to 229-9. Leach broke through with the fourth ball of the day when Rory Smith (2) was adjudged lbw.

Ajmal then struck twice in the space of four balls. Mark Wallace (36) fell to a sharp catch by Oliver at short leg and then Cosker (2) was trapped lbw.

But Hogan, who scored 37 and 46 in the corressponding match last season, and Salter held Worcestershire up.

Hogan hit Moeen for sixes over long off and long on before he was finally bowled by Ajmal. Leach (2-70), Morris (1-32) and Moeen (1-50) were the other wicket-takers.

Worcestershire began their second innings 45 minutes before lunch and skipper Daryl Mitchell clipped Hogan for four through mid wicket and straight drove Smith to the boundary.

But after making 11 out of 17, Mitchell edged a lifting delivery from Smith and was caught behind by Wallace.

Worcestershire reached 27-1 by lunch – but then came the Oliver and Moeen fireworks.