Monday, April 20th, 2015

Worcs Opener Oliver Scores Maiden Division One Hundred At Hove

Worcs Opener Oliver Scores Maiden Division One Hundred At Hove

Worcestershire opener Richard Oliver scored his first LV = County Championship Division One century against Sussex at Hove today.

Oliver, who 12 months ago was playing Minor Counties Cricket for Shropshire, reached three figures with a single off Luke Wells.

The left hander went to the milestone off 207 balls with 13 boundaries.

Oliver had been contemplating emigrating to Australia before offered a trial by Worcestershire after scoring back to back Second Eleven hundreds against Derbyshire.

The rest is history as Oliver impressed in the NatWest T20 Blast, earned an 18 month contract, forced his way into the Championship side and scored 179 against Gloucestershire.

Now he has reached three figures in only his second match in the top flight and it was an invaluable innings on a pacey and bouncy wicket.

Oliver showed there is more to his game than just aggressive strokeplay as he was prepared to graft for his runs in between playing some fine shots.

He shared in partnerships of 77 in 29 overs with Alex Gidman and 84 in 15 overs with Alexei Kervezee.

Oliver was eventually fifth out for 101 with the total on 227 when he was caught at short extra cover by Luke Wright off occasional spinner Luke Wells.

Worcestershire lost two early wickets after resuming on 45-0 in reply to Sussex's 345 all out on the opening day. Matthew Hobden made the double breakthrough for Sussex.

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell on 26 pushed forward and was bowled in the third over of the morning and then Tom Fell, a century-maker against Yorkshire last week, was undone by an outswinger and caught behind by Ben Brown for three.

Worcestershire were then 60-2 in the 20th over.

Oliver had a let-off on 23 when Craig Cachopa at first slip failed to hold onto a difficult chance off Steve Magoffin before he square drove the same bowler to the boundary.

The left hander was struck on the helmet by a Tynan Mills delivery before collecting successive fours off the same bowler through the covers and backward point.

Gidman hit three boundaries in an over from Ajmal Shahzad to move into the 20s.

Oliver brought up his 50 with a two square of the wicket off Hobden on his return to the attack.

He had a second let-off on 58 when dropped at slip by Cachopa off Hobden.

Gidman looked in good touch, collecting three fours in an over from Ajmal Shahzad, but after making 29 he was adjudged lbw to Steve Magoffin shortly after lunch.

Magoffin also had Tom Kohler-Cadmore (9) caught at slip after driving at a widish delivery.

Kervezee looked in good form on his return to the side in place of Moeen Ali and lofted Ashar Zaidi and Wells for six.

After Oliver's dismissal, wicket-keeper Ben Cox departed in the same over for nought after sweeping at Wells.

But Kervezee went to his half century off just 54 balls.

Gareth Andrew gave him good support in adding an unbroken 48 as Worcestershire reached 275-6 off 79 overs by tea,

Kervezee was then unbeaten off 71 from 69 balls and Andrew 16 not out.