On day one of the LV= County Championship Division Two match between Worcestershire and Kent at New Road the visitors recovered from 25-4 to 324 all out at stumps.
Worcestershire made two changes from their previous match at Cheltenham, with Tom Fell and Jack Shantry replacing Alexei Kervezee and Shaaiq Choudhry, and after putting the visitors into bat under overcast skies they soon made inroads after an opening stand of 21.
Gareth Andrew got Sam Northeast’s bat to edge to Moeen Ali at first slip and then in the space of 17 balls Kent lost three wickets for no runs as Andrew trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond (2) lbw, Rob Key (12) was caught behind by Ben Cox off Alan Richardson and when Brendan Nash (0) edged behind to Cox off Andrew the visitors were in trouble at 25-4.
However Darren Stevens and Ben Harmison then stadied the ship as Kent went to lunch on 87-4 and after lunch, under sunny conditions, they continued their fine stand as Stevens brought up his 50 off 72 balls, with a six-over long-off, and Harmison taking 121 balls for his 50.
After putting on 174 for the fifth wicket the partnership was broken before tea when Stevens was caught at short mid-wicket by Ali off Joe Leach for 95 off 125 balls, with 13 fours and 2 sixes, and at tea Kent were 213-5.
In the first over after tea, Geraint Jones (17) edged a cut shot to Cox off Graeme Cessford and then Shantry took the next two wickets as James Tredwell (10) was lbw and then bowled Harmison round his legs for 96 off 220 balls, with 16 fours, with the score on 257-8.
Then Worcestershire were frustrated as Calum Haggett (34*) and Mitchell Claydon (33) put on 52 for the ninth wicket but the innings was wrapped up by stumps as Claydon was well caught by Cox, diving to his left, off Richardson for 33 and Mark Davies (4) edged to Ali at first slip off Shantry as Kent were all out for 324 off 95.5 overs.
Shantry (3-69 off 22.5 overs) and Andrew (3-81 off 20 overs) were the pick of the Worcestershire bowlers, with Richardson (2-61 off 23 overs), Leach (1-38 off 11 overs) and Cessford (1-53 off 15 overs) taking the other wickets.
Moeen Ali reached 1,000 first-class runs for the season as Worcestershire ended the second day on 213-7 against Kent at New Road, trailing by 111 runs.
Play didn’t get underway until 1:10pm due to heavy showers, with the loss of 16 overs, and after an opening stand of 25 Matt Pardoe was the first wicket to fall when he edged to Sam Northeast at second slip off Darren Stevens for 13 and then Stevens got Daryl Mitchell to edge to James Tredwell at first slip for 22, with the score on 46-2.
Ali then reached his landmark, with a four through midwicket, before Tilan Samaraweera was caught behind by Geraint Jones off Calum Haggett for 13 as Worcestershire went to tea on 98-3.
After tea Ali went to his half-century but on 59 he played a tame shot and was caught by Mitchell Claydon at mid-on off Tredwell to end an innings that lasted 118 balls, with 8 fours.
It then sparked a collapse from 124-4 to 158-7 as Tredwell got the wickets of Joe Leach, caught low down by Jones for 0, Ben Cox, caught at slip by Stevens for 16 and Gareth Andrew, caught at short-leg by Daniel Bell-Drummond for 1.
Worcestershire avoided the follow-on when Shantry struck two fours in an over from Mark Davies and along with Tom Fell, who played some lovely drives, Worcestershire managed to get to 200 as Fell went on to his maiden Championship 50 off 96 balls.
Fell was unbeaten on 64 off 123 balls, with 10 fours, and Shantry was not out on 20 as their eighth-wicket partnership of 55 took Worcestershire to 213-7 off 80 overs at stumps.
Only 7.4 overs were possible on the third day at New Road as Worcestershire moved on to 241-7, trailing by 83 runs.
Play looked highly unlikely as the rain fell heavily for around 3 hours but once it cleared the umpires, Rob Bailey and Michael Gough, were hoping to get the players on the field and eventually play began at 4:45 pm, with 28 overs left in the day.
20 runs were added in 5.3 overs before the players went off the field due to a light shower for a few minutes and then another 13 balls were bowled before the rain got heavier just after 5:20pm, to abandon the day’s play, as the eighth wicket partnership had gone on to 83 with Tom Fell unbeaten on 75 off 143 balls, with 11 fours, and Jack Shantry not out on 30 off 103 balls.
Worcestershire’s LV= County Championship match against Kent at New Road ended as a draw after rain meant that only 7.2 overs was possible on the fourth and final day.
Rain delayed the start until 12:30pm and in the 30 minutes before lunch Jack Shantry reached his maiden first-class 50 off 126 balls with a six over long-on off James Tredwell.
2 balls later Shantry was bowled by Tredwell for 54 off 128 balls, with 7 fours and 2 sixes, and that was to be the final ball of the match as the rain returned after lunch and the two teams shook hands just after 3pm, with Worcestershire on 284-8 off 95 overs.
Cruelly for Tom Fell the rain denied his maiden first-class hundred as he ended up on a career-best 94 not out off 162 balls, with 12 fours.
WORCESTERSHIRE (284-8) DREW WITH KENT (324)
Worcestershire Team: Daryl Mitchell*, Matt Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tilan Samaraweera, Tom Fell, Joe Leach, Ben Cox+, Gareth Andrew, Jack Shantry, Graeme Cessford, Alan Richardson