Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Whiteley Hits First Senior Hundred For Worcs To Lead Fightback

Whiteley Hits First Senior Hundred For Worcs To Lead Fightback

Ross Whiteley scored his first senior hundred for Worcestershire to spearhead a splendid fightback on the third day of the tour match against New Zealand at New Road.

The former Derbyshire all-rounder reached three figures with his 18th boundary through mid-wicket off Neil Wagner from the 166th ball he had faced.

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell immediately declared with his side's total on 291-7 – a first innings lead of 30 over the Black Caps.

Then Jack Shantry and Moeen Ali picked up a wicket apiece as New Zealand slumped to 47-2.

By the close they had reached 89-2 from 26 overs with Martin Guptill unbeaten on 61.

Whiteley came to the wicket with Worcestershire on 92-5 after they had lost a flurry of wickets during the early part of the opening session.

He shared in stands of 80 with Ben Cox and an unbroken 81 with youngster Ed Barnard.

Whiteley has been in good form for the Seconds this season and scored a century against Middlesex Seconds at New Road last month.

Worcestershire resumed on 65-1 against an opening attack of Matt Henry and Neil Wagner with Moeen unbeaten on 20 and skipper Daryl Mitchell 15 not out.

Moeen added only three more runs before he clipped Wagner to square leg where Doug Bracewell held onto the catch in the second over of the day.

Tom Fell (0) was undone by a delivery from Henry which lifted and was caught behind by keeper BJ Watling.

Alex Gidman produced the first boundary of the morning via a flowing cover drive at Henry's expense.

But in the same over Gidman was bowled by a ball of full length from Henry for five.

Alexei Kervezee collected two boundaries to third man off Corey Anderson who replaced Wagner.

Mitchell defied the Black Caps bowlers for nearly two and a half hours in making 22 before he was the victim of a good catch at third slip by Martin Guptill off Bracewell.

The 100 came up in the 42nd over and Kervezee produced two of the strokes of the morning in cover-driving Ben Wheeler for successive fours.

Whiteley greeted the return of Henry to the attack with a lofted off drive for four toget off the mark and square drove the same bowler for another boundary.

Kervezee moved onto 33 before being bowled by Wheeler with the total 130-6 in the 48th over.

The partnership with Whiteley was worth 38 in 11 overs. Whiteley straight drove Jacob Duffy for four to bring up the 150 in the 57th over.

New Zealand operated predominantly with spin during the first part of the afternoon via Mark Craig and Mitchell Santner.

Whiteley swept and pulled Craig to the boundary and Cox, maintaining his excellent form of recent weeks, cut the same bowler for four to bring up the 50 stand in 20 overs.

Runs continued to flow at a steady rate and Whiteley reached his 50 off 106 balls with his ninth four – an off drive against Doug Bracewell.

He then forced Bracewell through mid wicket to bring up the 200 in the 73rd over.

The stand was broken when Cox was caught at extra cover by Duffy off Bracewell for 35 made from 79 balls with four fours.

New Zealand took the new ball at 234-7 but Whiteley continued to pick up the boundaries and received a standing ovation from his team-mates after going to his hundred.

Barnard looked secure and accomplished in making 26 not out before the declaration.

New Zealand opener Tom Latham (3) was caught at leg slip by Fell off Shantry with 26 on the board.

Moeen came into the attack at 47-1 and his first ball pitched on middle and leg and hit off stump to account for Hamish Rutherford (8).