Worcestershire Seconds struck back in fine style after MCC Young Cricketers had threatened to post a formidable total on day one of the Championship match at High Wycombe CC today.
The home side elected to bat after winning the toss and openers Ben Curran – brother of Surrey duo Sam and Tom – and Joe Barrett put on 165 in 44 overs for the first wicket.
George Rhodes broke the partnership by bowling Curran for 77 off 143 balls with 11 fours.
But MCC YC were still well placed at 211-1 when a dramatic collapse ensued as the Worcestershire bowlers struck gold.
The last nine wickets went down for just 58 runs in 24.4 overs as MCC YC were bowled out for 269 in 81.3 overs.
Former Warwickshire paceman Grant Thornton – one of three triallists in the side along with right arm fast medium bowler Tommy Sturgess and off spinner Louis Shaw – dismissed Barrett for 85 off 164 deliveries with 13 boundaries.
No-one else made a sizeable contribution with the bat and Sturgess picked up the prized wicket of Safwaan Imtiaz (18) who had scored 91 in yesterday’s Trophy clash between the teams at Merchant Taylor’s School.
Pat Brown, Sturgess and Shaw ended with two wickets each and there was one apiece for Dillon Pennington, Thornton, Rhodes and Zen Malik.
When Worcestershire replied, they lost Rhodes (15) and Ryan Tongue (9) to Dominic Manthorpe, who played for Leicestershire Seconds last summer.
But skipper and opener Ollie Westbury and Malik came together at 41-2 and saw Worcestershire through to stumps with no further setbacks.
MCC YOUNG CRICKETERS – FIRST INNINGS
Curran b Rhodes 77
Barrett c Rhodes b Thornton 85
Callis lbw Shaw 22
Imtiaz b Sturgess 18
Lezar c Brown b Shaw 0
Hudson-Prentice c Shaw b Brown 8
Bhula c Rhodes b Malik 4
Van Vollenhoven not out 17
Sears b Sturgess 1
Manthorpe b Pennington 1
Barton lbw Brown 3
Total (all out) 269 in 81.3 overs
FOW: 165, 211, 211, 211, 220, 242, 242, 243, 252, 269
WORCESTERSHIRE SECONDS – FIRST INNINGS
Rhodes c Imtiaz b Manthorpe 15
Westbury not out 23
R. Tongue lbw Manthorpe 9
Malik not out 26
Total (for 2 wickets) 84 in 20 overs
FOW: 27, 41
Van Vollenhoven 2-0-5-0