Leicestershire v Worcestershire: Tom Fell ton helps set big target

LV= County Championship Division Two, Grace Road

Close, day three: Worcestershire 237 & 444-8 dec, Leicestershire 278 & 20-0

Leicestershire 5 pts, Worcestershire 4 pts

Match scorecard

Tom Fell hit his maiden first-class century as Worcestershire piled up the runs to set Leicestershire a testing final-day target at Grace Road.

Steve Rhodes reaches his 50

Steve Rhodes, keeping wicket for England at the second Ashes Test against Australia at Melbourne, Boxing Day 1994
  • Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes celebrated his 50th birthday on day three of the Championship game at Grace Road.
  • Born in the year Worcestershire celebrated their first County Championship, in 1964, Rhodes went on to enjoy two title wins himself, 25 years later in 1988 and again in 1989.
  • It is 30 years since the young Yorkshireman first arrived at New Road.
  • It is 20 years since he made his Test debut, winning the first of his 11 caps, in June 1994.
  • Is is 10 years since being appointed Worcestershire captain. After retiring to become assistant coach, he stepped up as coach when Tom Moody left in 2005, becoming the re-titled director of cricket a year later.

Backed by another ton from captain Daryl Mitchell (120), Fell made 124 as the visitors declared on 444-8.

Fell shared century stands of 178 with Mitchell and 111 with Alexei Kervezee (57), while Tom Kohler-Cadmore weighed in with his maiden half-century (56).

Set 404 to win, Division Two's bottom club Leicestershire closed on 20-0.

Angus Robson and Greg Smith saw their side through seven overs of seam from Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris, before one maiden over of spin from Saeed Ajmal.

But the hosts, still without a win in seven matches this season, will still have to face the Pakistan Test spinner, the county's top wicket taker, on a final-day pitch - and would need to equal their record score in the fourth innings of a match.

Earlier, Leicestershire seamer Nathan Buck took 5-123, his third five-wicket haul of the season in Championship cricket.

For Worcestershire, Mitchell lost his private race with Hampshire's James Vince to become the first player to post 1,000 runs this season.

But his fourth Championship century of the summer has still put his side back into a winning position - quite a turnaround after being bowled out on the first day for just 237.

BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae:

"A tough day at the office for the over-worked Leicestershire seamers, notably Nathan Buck and Charlie Shreck, as the wicket flattened out under the sun, but they did not help themselves with poor catching, especially in the slips.

"Dan Redfern's dropping of Tom Fell off Richard Jones, when the batsman was on just 29 early in the day, was a particularly bad and inevitably expensive miss.

"The target is, of course, purely notional at this stage, but there was encouragement in the fact that Greg Smith and Angus Robson played out the final eight overs of the day without alarm."