KERVEZEE LEADS WORCESTERSHIRE RUN SPREE WITH SUPERB TON AGAINST DERBYSHIRE
Alexei Kervezee scored a superb century – his first in the LV = County Championship for three years – as Worcestershire dominated the third day of the Division Two clash with Derbyshire at New Road.
Kervezee reached three figures off 132 balls with nine fours and he received a standing ovation from his team-mates on the dressing room balcony when a two through the covers off Wes Durston enabled him to complete his hundred.
Moeen Ali also showed his class in making 99 off 146 balls with three sixes and nine fours and a late onslaught by Gareth Andrew ensured Worcestershire secured maximum batting points.
Kervezee's ton was the fifth of his first class career and his third in successive matches against Derbyshire.
He had scored 130 against them at New Road and 155 at Derby in 2010 and since then the two counties have been in different divisions – until now.
Kervezee had vowed before the start of the season to repay the faith shown in him by the coaching staff and players after a disappointing 2013 campaign.
He followed up his 54 against Kent in the last match with a demonstration of the potential that has been evident since he joined the county.
Kervezee was eventually dismissed for 110 off 137 balls with 11 fours.
Moeen's contribution was perfectly timed with the England squad for the limited overs matches with Scotland and Sri Lanka due to be announced in the next few days.
The home side resumed on 31-0 from 16 overs after dismissing Derbyshire for 219 on the opening day and claiming maximum bowling points.
Skipper Daryl Mitchell and fellow opener Matt Pardoe laid the foundations for the later onslaught with a patient stand of 72 in 37 overs on a slow wicket.
Pardoe greeted the entry into the attack of spinner David Wainwright by lofting him over long on for six.
Mitchell (26) pushed well forward to Wainwright and was caught behind by on loan wicket-keeper Dan Hodgson.
Pardoe reached 49 before he lofted Wainwright to century-maker Wayne Madsen at mid wicket with 96 on the board. He batted for 130 balls and struck four fours and a six.
Worcestershire resumed after lunch on 105-2 from 47 overs and Moeen was immediately into his stride with a stream of handsome boundaries.
He lifted Wes Durston over long on for six before edging the same bowler for four to reach his second 50 of the season after scoring 69 in the drawn game at Hampshire.
Moeen dominated a third wicket stand of 67 in 13 overs with Tom Kohler-Cadmore who made 11 before being adjudged lbw to Tony Palladino with the total on 163.
Kervezee looked full of confidence after his half century in the previous game against Kent at New Road.
He straight drove spinner David Wainwright to the boundary and picked up another two boundaries off the same bowler thrugh mid wicket.
Worcestershire went into the lead in the 75th over and a six by Moeen over mid-wicket off Groenwald took him onto 97 before his dismissal in the 80th over.
He was caught at point by Tim Groenwald off Durston to the final ball before tea with the total 241-4.
After former Derbyshire player Ross Whiteley was lbw to Palladino for nought, Kervezee and wicket-keeper Ben Cox ensured the scoring rate did not drop during a stand of 75 in only 13 overs.
The 300 came up in the 92nd over and Cox, who hit a career-best 89 against Kent, raced to 41 off 46 balls before he was top edged a sweep against Wainwright to Palladino at backward square leg.
Kervezee and Andrew added 68 in 11 overs and the latter called for his mongoose bat in mid innings as his side chased the maximum points haul.
There was a late flurry of wickets with Kervezee, Jack Shantry and Saeed Ajmal falling in the space of six balls to Mark Footitt.
But Andrew lashed Durston for six over mid wicket to take the score past 400 and bring up his own 50 off 45 balls with two sixes and five fours.
The all-rounder cut loose to extend Worcestershire's lead past the 200 mark by the close.