Monday, June 9th, 2014

Super Cox Registers Maiden Century As County Claim Four Batting Points

Super Cox Registers Maiden Century As County Claim Four Batting Points

 Ben Cox scored his maiden first class century as Worcestershire secured four batting points on day two of the LV = County Championship top two clash with Hampshire at New Road.

The county wicket-keeper went to the magical milestone with three through mid wicket off James Tomlinson. Cox reached three figures off 178 balls with one six and 13 fours.

It was the signal for a triumphant punch in the air from Cox and he received a standing ovation from his team-mates and coaching staff on the dressing room balcony.

Cox had achieved his previous best of 89 earlier this season against Kent at New Road and his century followed on from his 64 last week off the Surrey attack at the Kia Oval.

Joe Leach (32) and Jack Shantry (29) provided sterling support after Alexei Kervezee's fine opening day effort helped lay the foundations for a total of 402-9 declared.

Then Shantry struck a crucial early blow with the ball when Michael Carberry (0) turned the first ball of the innings into the hands of Tom Fell at leg slip as Hampshire closed on 10-1.

Play got underway at 2.15pm after morning rain and Worcestershire resumed on 175-4 after 63 overs – with 63 remaining in the day's play.

Kervezee, who was on 65 overnight, collected the first boundary of the day with an edge off David Balcombe. Cox cover-drove Balcombe for four to bring up the 50 partnership with Kervezee in 16 overs.

After making 80, Kervezee firmly struck a leg stump delivery from James Tomlinson into the hands of James Vince at short mid wicket.

The Dutch international struck nine fours and a six in his 142 ball innings and his partnership with Cox was worth 60 in 19 overs.

Spinner Danny Briggs came into the attack and Cox used his feet to cover drive him to the boundary. The Worcestershire wicket-keeper then reeled off two fine cover-drives for four when Matt Coles replaced Vince.

He reached a fine half century off 105 balls with seven fours. Leach gave Cox staunch support and a square drive off Coles earned a second bonus point at 250 and also completed a half century stand in 15 overs.

Leach started to accelerate and he cut and cover-drove Coles for fours and flicked the returning Balcombe off his legs to the boundary.

He moved onto 32 before falling in the first over after tea when an aggressive over from Coles ended with the all-rounder mistiming a pull to mid on.

The 300 – and third batting point – came up in the 99th over before Shaaiq Choudhry (5) edged Balcombe to Will Smith at second slip.

Cox went past his previous best score of 89 with a lofted on drive off Coles and a straight drive for four against Tomlinson took him to 96 before he went to his century.

Shantry ensured the fourth batting point was claimed with the aid of three fours in an over from Tomlinson. Cox's superb knock finally ended on 104 when he holed out off Glenn Maxwell to Briggs on the mid wicket boundary.

That ended a stand of 51 in 10 overs with Shantry who eventually gave Maxwell the charge and was bowled.

But late hitting from Saeed Ajmal (24 not out) and Charlie Morris (11 not out) stretched the total past 400 in the 118th over before the declaration – and Shantry's dismissal of Carberry.