Essex v Worcestershire. Day 1 Report
Worcestershire ended the first day of the two-day friendly with Essex at the Ford County Ground on 112-2 wickets from 31.2 overs and still trailing the hosts by 166 runs on first innings.
Essex had declared on 278-5 at the end of 67 overs during which time, Billy Godleman and James Foster proved the pick of the home batsmen. Left-hander Godleman timed the ball sweetly striking impressively on both sides of the wicket to reach the first hundred of the year at Chelmsford whilst Foster played with controlled aggression as the pair posted 137 for the fourth wicket in 28 overs.
The partnership was broken with the total on 137 when Godleman edged a ball from medium-pacer Joe Leach and was well caught by Vikram Solanki at slip diving to his left to leave Essex four wickets down . The opener had batted for ten minutes short of four hours and struck 14 boundaries in a well-composed innings.
Foster followed 26 runs later having faced 103 balls to reach an entertaining 89 that included 16 fours, but then swept Shaaiq Choudhry into the hands of Matt Pardoe shortly before the conclusion of the innings.
Earlier, Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh had departed for 3 and 9 respectively but Adam Wheater showed good form to hit 42 from 44 deliveries and striking the only two sixes of the innings.
Worcestershire were given the final session of the day to begin their response against the new ball pair of Charl Willoughby, appearing in an Essex sweater for the first time, and Maurice Chambers and it was the latter who struck the first blow when he bowled Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell with a delivery that re-arranged middle stump.
Opener Pardoe opened his account with two boundaries off Chambers but otherwise proved a dogged opponent facing 58 deliveries before reaching double figures. At the opposite end, Solanki played with typical freedom capitalising on the short boundary to post 11 boundaries in his 63-ball half-century to finish the day on 56 not out.
Pardoe, having played himself in, then moved into a more positive mode as the second wicket pair put on 103 in 24 overs but he was finally undone in the final over of the day when he stepped out of his crease when facing Tim Phillips and was stumped by Foster for 34 made from 94 balls that included two sixes, one off Tom Craddock and one off Phillips.
Essex 278-5 declared from 67 overs
Worcestershire 112-2 from 31.2 overs, Solanki 56 not out.
Day 2 Report
Worcestershire drew their two-day match with Essex after the visitors finished on 101-2 having been set 135 runs to win from 32 overs. Opener Daryl Mitchell made an unbeaten 52 having faced 114 balls, nine of which he despatched to the boundary whilst there was a wicket apiece for spinners Tom Craddock and Tim Phillips.
Having made a circumspect start to the innings, the Worcestershire opening pair had reached 59 in 18 overs before being parted when Matt Pardoe (25) pushed forward to a ball from Craddock and was picked up in the gully by Tom Westley.
In the next over and with 5 more runs added, James Cameron went for 5 when he chipped Phillips to Nick Browne at mid-wicket but Mitchell continued to play soundly and was accompanied by Ben Scott who was 16 not out by the end of the match.
Phillips returned 1 for 25 from 9 overs and Craddock 1 for 18 from 6 overs.