County Championship: Worcestershire opener Brett D'Oliveira hits maiden century

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (left) and Brett D'OIiveira (right) put on 179 before Graham Napier took three wickets
Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (left) and Brett D'OIiveira (right) put on 179 before Essex seamer Graham Napier (centre) led the visitors' final session fightback with three wickets
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, New Road
Worcestershire v Essex, day three
Essex 451-9 dec: Cook 142, Westley 125, Foster 51*, Bopara 48, Leach 5-115
Worcestershire 226-5: D'Oliveira 128, Mitchell 66, Napier 3-56
Essex lead by 225 runs
Essex 6 pts, Worcestershire 3 pts
Match scorecard

Brett D'Oliveira became the third generation of the same family to hit a century for Worcestershire, inside the afternoon session against Essex.

Following in the footsteps of Basil, his grandfather, and father Damian, D'Oliveira made 128, sharing an opening stand of 179 with Daryl Mitchell (66).

The hosts ended on 226-5 after a Graham Napier-sparked late clatter of wickets.

Earlier, Joe Leach took five wickets as Essex declared on 451-9, England Test captain Alastair Cook finishing on 142.

Resuming on 335-2 after two days of rain interruptions and runs, it was suddenly hard work for the batsmen on a breezy morning at New Road.

At one point, Worcestershire vice-captain Leach took four wickets in 23 balls, including a superb one-handed return catch moving to his right to remove Cook who received a standing ovation for his 284-ball innings.

He struck one six, off England team-mate Moeen Ali, and 22 fours in making his third Championship hundred of the campaign.

After he had gone, ex-skipper James Foster's 42-ball half century steered Essex past the 400 mark in the 109th over to ensure maximum batting bonus points.

But, after taking five wickets for 56, including England's Moeen cheaply for eight, the Division Two leaders will have to take 15 more on the final day if they are to pick up their third win in four matches.

Brett D'Oliveira told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"My first thought after reaching 100 was 'yes I've done it'. Obviously my dad is never too far away from my thoughts.

"It is amazing to get the first Championship century but it means nothing if we get nothing out of this game now.

"It was nice with the new ball because the ball came onto the bat easier but as it got older it was tougher to score. I'd like to think I cashed in on the bad balls.

"You are always nervous when you get into the 90s but I just kept my head down and got through it. And it was good to bat with Mitch as he got me through some tough times out there.

Essex head coach Chris Silverwood:

"I was delighted with the way the boys fought back in the final session.

"We certainly did not have the second session of play. They batted very well. Our bowling wasn't at its best.

"But the way we responded in the last session showed our character and it could still be an interesting final day."

Basil D'Oliveira
Basil D'Oliveira made 31 of his 45 first-class centuries for Worcestershire in his 16 years at New Road, also making 44 Test appearances for England before going on to become county coach
Damian D'Oliveira
Damian D'Oliveira plundered all his 10 first-class centuries in his 13 years on the playing staff with Worcestershire, going on to serve the county as coach before losing his battle with cancer in 2014