Thursday, May 20th, 2021

PENNINGTON STRIKES DOUBLE BLOW AS WORCESTERSHIRE TAKE HONOURS ON RAIN-HIT DAY

Dillon Pennington claimed two prized scalps as Worcestershire enjoyed the better of a rain-curtailed opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The pace bowler only had time to bowl 4.5 overs either side of several breaks in play but in that time dismissed Ben Slater and Joe Clarke with a couple of fine deliveries.

Alzarri Joseph also posed problems and accounted for Haseeb Hameed as Nottinghamshire were reduced to 51-3 in the 15.5 overs play spanning four sessions that were possible.

Pennington finished with 2-12 and Joseph 1-11 and hopes of a final short session of 7.1 overs at 6.15pm were ended after a damp patch was discovered on the pitch after the hover cover had been removed.

Worcestershire made two changes from the side in action at Durham with Pennington and Joseph returning in place of Charlie Morris and Ed Barnard respectively with the latter having played in the opening six games of the season.

Club Captain Joe Leach won the toss for the fifth time in seven games and opted to bowl first on a green wicket which had been used for Nottinghamshireโ€™s previous Championship match with Essex.

Nottinghamshire returned to action after a 10-day break whereas Worcestershire were playing for the seventh successive week in the competition.

Leach and Josh Tongue, who had picked up seven wickets at the Emirates Riverside, shared the new ball under cloudy skies with the floodlights on from the start of play.

They were up against openers Hameed and Slater who had batted through the final day in the recent drawn game between the counties at New Road.

Slater on five survived an lbw shout against Tongue after playing no stroke and also played and missed against Leach.

Hameed looked in good touch and leg glanced Tongue for four and sliced Leach down to the third man boundary.

The opening pair kept the score moving along at four an over and Slater pulled a short ball for six backward of square off Pennington after he replaced Tongue.

Joseph took over from Leach and bowled a superb opening over to Hameed.

He played and missed at a succession of fine deliveries from the West Indies paceman.

But it was Pennington who made the breakthrough after deciding to adopt a change of line to Slater.

He angled a delivery into the left hander on 15 and he edged through to the safe hands of keeper Ben Cox.

Nottinghamshire were then 38-1 from 11.1 overs and the players immediately left the field as heavy rain began to fall.

It resulted in a delay of more than three hours either side of lunch and, when the players returned, a total of 32 overs had been lost.

Another short delay resulted in the day being shortened by another four overs and, when play resumed, Joseph quickly picked up the wicket of Hameed (24).

The former England opener was undone by a fine ball which bounced and left the batsman and he nicked through to Cox at 50-2.

One ball was delivered to former Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke before another short rain break ensued.

When the players came back out Pennington struck with the fifth ball which moved off the seam, caught the edge of Clarkeโ€™s bat before he had scored and presented Cox with his third catch.

There was then a further two and a half hour hold up for the weather on a day in which spectators returned to watch action at Trent Bridge for the first time in 608 days.

A possible 7.1 overs were remaining when umpires Alex Wharf and Billy Taylor decreed play could resume at 6.15pm.

But, after the hover cover was taken off, a damp patch was discovered on the pitch and play was abandoned for the day.

*Worcestershire Seconds suffered more weather frustration as the 50 over encounter with Herefordshire at Kidderminster was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

It was the sixth successive day that the Seconds have had washed out and they have not tasted any action since April 29.

The Second Eleven Championship match with Northamptonshire starting next Monday has been switched from Milton Keynes to the County Ground, Northampton.