Matt Pardoe made his First Class debut as he was named in the Worcestershire team to face Yorkshire at New Road. Pardoe from Stourbridge, now 20 years old has come through all the age groups at Worcestershire and earnt his place after his performances for the 2nd XI in the past couple of years.
The game also saw the Worcestershire debut for Damien Wright, a fast bowler from New South Wales who is no stranger to English bowling conditions after spells with Scotland, Somerset, Glamorgan, Sussex and Northamptonshire.
For Yorkshire it was a welcome return to action for Joe Sayers after a lengthy absence last season. Twenty year old batsman Joe Root also made a Championship debut in the place of Anthony McGrath.
Daryl Mitchell won the toss for Worcestershire and elected to bat first on a clear sunny day in front of a good sized crowd on the opening day of the season with New Road looking at its scenic best.
Opener James Cameron made 30 being being bowled by Ryan Sidebottom. Adil Rashid also picked up two wickets as the home side reached 96-3 at lunch with Mitchell falling LBW for 49 just before the interval.
Rashid struck again soon after the interval to leave Worcestershire in a dangerous position on 100-4 with Moeen Ali and Pardoe having to progress carefully against Rashid's bowling. Moeen Ali was tempted into one shot too many, edging a catch to the wicket keeper for 18 after a patient innings lasting 72 deliveries. Gareth Andrew and Pardoe then saw the home side to tea with the score on 161-5.
The re-introduction of Sidebottom into the attack four overs after the tea interval proved a key decision as 3 wickets fell for 6 runs in 16 deliveries after a period where the home side looked to up the run rate against Rashid with some more positive shots.
Matt Pardoe was caught by Joe Sayers at short mid wicket for 26 off the bowling of Sidebottom after an debut innings lasting 88 deliveries. Andrew fell soon after clean bowled for 49 attempting to sweep Rashid. With Damien Wright following 9 balls later to leave the score on 197-8 the visitors were perhaps hoping to close the innings off quickly, with Rashid looking to claim career best figures, he ended the innings on 6-77 from 28 overs.
However Matt Mason produced a wonderful tail end performance of both stubborn resistance and flamboyant shots to equal his career best score of 63 in in just 53 deliveries including 10 boundaries. From 218-9 he completed a last wicket stand of 68 with Alan Richardson (16*) which earned the home side an extra batting point and taking their score to a more respectable 286 all out right on the close of play.
Close of play Day 1: Worcestershire 286 all out.