Worcestershire switch attention back to title bid

TOM FELL: Top-scored for Worcestershire.

TOM FELL: Top-scored for Worcestershire.

First published in Sport

WORCESTERSHIRE bowed out of the Royal London One-Day Cup when beaten by 16 runs at Leicestershire Foxes under the Duckworth-Lewis system.

The visitors had to win their final Group ‘A’ match at Grace Road for any chance of making the quarter-finals.

But the County now turn their attention back to four-day cricket.

They can clinch promotion from LV= County Championship Division Two by defeating Gloucestershire in the clash starting at New Road tomorrow (11am).

The County are 43 points ahead of second-placed Surrey with a game in hand. They will go up with a win if Surrey fail to beat Leicestershire.

In the one-day cup, another fine innings from Tom Fell (73) helped Worcestershire post a competitive 202-9 in their 34 overs.

But Leicestershire were ahead of the required rate when a heavy downpour ended the match with their total on 93-2 after 15.4 overs.

Play did not get under way until 1pm and Worcestershire were put into bat in bowler-friendly conditions.

They made two changes from the side beaten on Wednesday by Gloucestershire with the rested Mitchell McClenaghan and Jack Shantry replaced by Chris Russell and Shaaiq Choudhry.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore had to be watchful against the new-ball attack of Charlie Shreck and Anthony Ireland as the mandatory seven-over powerplay realised 14 runs.

Kohler-Cadmore (6) was bowled by Ollie Freckingham with 18 on the board.

But then Fell picked up three successive fours off Freckingham (2-38) as he and Mitchell started to wrestle control away from the bowlers.

Fell reached his 50 off 45 balls with eight fours for his third successive half-century in the cup, while Mitchell played the supporting role.

The pair added 104 runs in 17.4 overs to take Worcestershire to 122-1 in the 26th.

Mitchell (41) holed out to mid-on off Shreck (2-26) and then Fell’s fine knock of 73 from 61 balls ended when he was caught behind off Shiv Thakor.

Ross Whiteley hit a rapid 22 off 12 balls with four fours before he became another of Thakor’s haul of 4-49. Wickets fell at regular intervals until Joe Leach’s unbeaten 27 off 16 deliveries guided the County past the 200 mark.

Charlie Morris began with a maiden to Leicestershire opener Angus Robson but Russell, in his first cup appearance of the season, had a battle to find his rhythm.

Morris (1-19) made the first breakthrough when Niall O’Brien (23) was bowled off the bottom edge after he backed away.

Eight runs later it became 45-2 in the eighth over when Robson (13) drove at Leach (1-25) and fell to a sharp gully catch by Gareth Andrew.

But that was Worcestershire’s last success as Greg Smith (34 not out) and Matthew Boyce (9no) ensured the hosts edged ahead under the D-L system before the heavens opened.

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