Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

TONGUE IMPRESSES WITH BALL AS COUNTY SECONDS FIGHTBACK AT CHESTER ROAD

Josh Tongue picked up two wickets and bowled impressively throughout the day as Worcestershire Seconds fought back strongly with the ball on day two of the Second Eleven Championship encounter with Gloucestershire at Kidderminster.

Tongue continued his return from injury and in testing spells at the start of the first two sessions troubled all the batsmen, including experienced Gloucestershire top-order pair Miles Hammond and Ian Cockbain.

He finally collected some tangible reward for his efforts during the final session and ended with 2-61 from 21 overs as Gloucestershire, who were 214-1 at one stage, closed on 337-9 – a lead of 77 at the halfway stage.

The County attack stuck to their task throughout the day. Pat Brown got the ball to swing, and there were encouraging performances from youngsters Reeve Evitts and Mitchell Stanley while triallist spinner George Drissell sent down 20 tidy overs.

Worcestershire, who were dismissed for 260 on the opening day, claimed one wicket during the morning session as Gloucestershire advanced from 37-0 to 123-1 off 40 overs.

Tongue and Adam Finch opened the attack and bowled four overs apiece before being replaced by Stanley and Brown.

Stanley made the initial breakthrough as Benny Howell, on 44 from 73 balls, drove at the paceman and inside-edged a catch to keeper Alex Milton with 79 on the board.

Hammond completed a 135 ball half-century containing nine fours shortly after the resumption with a push for two off Evitts.

After another fiery burst from Tongue, spin was introduced via triallist Drissell, a former Gloucestershire player.

A second-wicket stand of 135 between Hammond and Cockbain was ended when the former on 87 fell to a superb catch at slip by Josh Dell diving away to his left off the bowling of Ross Whiteley.

Captain Whiteley struck again when Tom Smith (6) picked out Brown at backward point, and then Drissell had Will Naish (0) caught at first slip โ€“ another sharp reflex effort from Dell.

Jacques Banton enjoyed a double breakthrough with Cockbain (71) and Max Trotman (1), both perishing to Drissell at extra short cover.

Tongue deservedly claimed a first scalp when trapping Jared Warner (11) lbw, and he then bowled Harry Hankins (6) before fellow paceman Adam Finch had Zain Ul-Hassan (2) leg before.

Oliver Meadows (58 not out) helped Gloucestershire through to the close with one wicket remaining.

Whiteley ended with 2-30, Banton 2-24, Drissell 1-56, Stanley 1-25 and Finch 1-48.