Fixture Type: LV= CC 2
Venue: New Road
Fixture Date: Wednesday 8 May – Saturday 11 May
Start Time: 11:00am
Results: Match Drawn
On a truncated opening day to the season at New Road, with 27 overs lost in the day, Worcestershire ended the day on 198-3 against Leicestershire.
There were two changes to the Worcestershire side from their defeat at Hampshire, with Shaaiq Choudhry and Jack Shantry replacing Richard Jones and Chris Russell.
Leicestershire had the early breakthrough when Ollie Freckingham got Daryl Mitchell (8) to edge to Michael Thornely at third slip, with the score on 16, but Worcestershire batted with grit and determination through most of the morning session as Matt Pardoe and Moeen Ali saw out the new ball attack of Freckingham and Robbie Williams and then also survived the first few overs from Jigar Naik, who found some early turn.
Both Ali and Pardoe struck 6's off Naik into the buliding works, as the home side reached 94, but just before lunch Ali struck an off-drive straight to Thornely at point off Rob Taylor for 48 off 77 balls, with 7 fours and 1 six, as Worcestershire went to lunch on 95-2 off 32 overs.
After lunch Tilan Samaraweera, on 2, was given not out when he hit the ball straight to Matthew Boyce's chest, at short-leg, but went onto his helmet before it reached his hands and the Sri Lankan made the most of it as along with Pardoe they struck 6 fours in their partnership before Pardoe reached his 50, with a glorious off-drive for 4, off 147 balls, with 5 fours and 1 six.
Naik's persistance paid off when Pardoe got forward and was bowled by the spin for 59 off 174 balls, with 7 fours and 1 six, with the score on 163-3 in the 58th over and then Alexei Kervezee struck two fours off Naik in the last over before tea, with Worcestershire on 189-3 off 64 overs.
Then the rain delayed proceedings after tea and there was no further play until 6pm. In the 13 balls possible before the rain returned to end the day Samaraweera went to his 50 off 99 balls, with 6 fours, as Worcestershire ended the day on 198-3 off 66.1 overs, with Samaraweera not out on 51 and Kervezee unbeaten on 18.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley after the first day's play at New Road. Please click here to listen to the interview.
On another rain-affected day at New Road, with 58 overs lost in the day, Worcestershire were 294-7 at stumps on day two against Leicestershire.
Worcestershire resumed on 198-3 and Alexei Kervezee struck three fours in the opening 10 overs of the day as the home side went on to 227, with Tilan Samaraweera reaching 15,000 first-class career runs, before Kervezee was caught at short leg by Matthew Boyce off Jigar Naik for 35 off 54 balls, with 7 fours, to end a fourth wicket partnership of 64. Then Naik struck again in this next over when Neil Pinner (0) was caught at short mid-wicket by Michael Thornely.
Michael Johnson hit three fours as Worcestershire got their second batting point before a brief shower stopped play for 10 minutes and then Johnson struck another four before he attempted a slog sweep and was bowled by Naik for 17, who then took his fifth wicket, next ball, when Gareth Andrew (0) was caught behind by Niall O’Brien, to leave Worcestershire on 257-7 in the 94th over.
4 more runs were added before lunch was taken and then in the afternoon session Samaraweera and Shaaiq Choudhry (15*) each struck two boundaries before the players went off for rain at 2:20pm, with the score on 294-7 off 104.3 overs. The rain continued to fall as the afternoon went on and eventually the umpires, Richard Kettleborough and Martin Saggers, abandoned the day's proceedings at 5pm, with Naik on figures of 5-98 off 35 overs and Samaraweera on an unbeaten 92 off 212 balls, with 8 fours.
Worestershire endured a long day on the field as Leicestershire ended day three on 229-2 at New Road, trailing by 91 runs.
In the first 20 minutes of the day Worcestershire recorded their third batting point before Tilan Samaraweera brought up his maiden century for Worcestershire, with his ninth four, off 225 balls as Worcestershire declared on 320-7 off 109.3 overs, with Shaaiq Choudhry the other not out batsman, with 32, as they put on an unbeaten 63 for the eighth wicket.
Leicestershire's Michael Thornely had a reprieve early on in the innings when, on 3, he was dropped by Neil Pinner at first slip off Alan Richardson and it looked as though the visitors would go to to lunch without losing a wicket. But just before lunch Choudhry (1-53 off 25 overs) got the ball to turn and bowled Thornely for 17, with the score on 51, as the visitors eventually went to lunch on 55-1 off 26 overs.
In the afternoon session Niall O'Brien and Ned Eckersley were happy to take ones and twos against Choudhry and Moeen Ali and then Eckersley struck three fours as their partnership reached 55 until O'Brien (46) was bowled by a turning delivery from Ali (1-72 off 24 overs), who took his 100th first-class wicket, with the score on 106-2 in the 48th over.
Sarwan had an early scare when, on 1, he was put down by Jack Shantry at short mid-wicket and the West Indian then struck two fours off Ali before Eckersley got to his 50, with his fifth four, off 110 balls.
Sarwan and Eckersley both remained at the crease at tea, with the score on 149-2, and then in the evening session the visitors went on the attack before the new ball was taken, as 10 fours were struck, before Eckersley went to his century, with a single off the first delivery of the new ball, off 173 balls, with 12 fours.
Eckersley then scored two further fours off Shantry before the players went off for bad light just after 5:30pm and play was abandoned for the day at 5:50pm, with the vistors on 229-2 off 86.1 overs, with Eckersley not out on 108 and Sarwan unbeaten on 46.
Worcestershire drew their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at New Road.
Resuming on 229-2 Leicestershire lost two early wickets as both Ned Eckersley, who scored 122 off 208 balls, with 16 fours, and Josh Cobb (0) were caught at short mid-wicket by Gareth Andrew off Jack Shantry (2-40 off 18 overs) to leave the visitors on 247-4.
Ramnaresh Sarwan then reached his 50 off 152 balls, with 6 fours, as the visitors attempted to get a third batting point inside 110 overs and eventually Sarwan was the fifth wicket to fall when, going for a big hit, he was caught at deep mid-on by Neil Pinner off Moeen Ali (2-113 off 37 overs) for 79 off 187 balls, with 10 fours and 1 six, with the score on 287. Boyce then took Leicestershire to 300 by hitting two fours off Shaaiq Choudhry, who then had the last laugh as he bowled Boyce for 29 on the stroke of lunch, with the visitors on 309-6 in the 116th over.
After lunch Leicestershire went into the lead before Choudhry had Rob Taylor lbw for 12, with the score on 341-7, and then Shiv Thakor went to his 50 off 96 balls, with 4 fours and 1 six, as Leicestershire's lead went over 50 runs. Choudhry (4-111 off 45 overs) took his fourth wicket when Jigar Naik (7) was caught at slip by Daryl Mitchell before a shower took the players off the field just after 3pm, with Leicestershire on 379-8 off 138.2 overs and Thakor unbeaten on 52 off 102 balls.
An early tea was taken and the visitors then declared, which left Worcestershire having to bat for a minimum of 37 overs when play resumed. Matt Pardoe departed for 14, when he went back and was trapped lbw off Naik, but once Mitchell (20*) and Ali (24*) took Worcestershire into the lead both teams agreed to shake hands at 4:50pm, with Worcestershire, taking 7 points from this match, declaring on 61-1 off 20 overs.
WORCESTERSHIRE (320-7d & 61-1d) DREW WITH LEICESTERSHIRE (379-8d)
Worcestershire Team: Daryl Mitchell*, Matt Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tilan Samaraweera, Alexei Kervezee, Neil Pinner, Michael Johnson+, Gareth Andrew, Shaaiq Choudhry, Jack Shantry, Alan Richardson