County Championship: Pears edge in front against Sussex on second day at Chester Road
|County Championship Division Two, Chester Road, Kidderminster (day two):|
|Sussex 255: Brown 80, Jordan 58, Robinson 38; Parnell 4-92|
|Worcestershire 262-6: Ferguson 56, Wessels 55, Cox 53*; Jordan 3-52, Robinson 2-48|
|Worcestershire (5 pts) lead Sussex (4 pts) by seven runs|
Worcestershire ended day two of their rescheduled home game against Sussex with a narrow seven-run lead after a day of half-centuries at Chester Road.
Resuming on 185-6, Ben Brown (80) and Chris Jordan (52) extended their overnight partnership to 92 as Sussex totalled 255 in their first innings.
Sussex paceman Ollie Robinson quickly reduced the Pears to 11-2.
But Callum Ferguson (56), Riki Wessels (55) and Ben Cox (53 not out) helped the hosts close just ahead on 262-6.
Wessels was a particular inspiration, coming to the wicket with both openers gone, on the back of a run of just 16 runs in his previous six innings.
But the former Nottinghamshire batsman drove, cut and ramped his way back into form with his highest score since hitting a century against Durham in early May, until Jordan had him caught at slip, the first of the England man's three wickets.
The Australia-born South African bred, English-qualified player's 56-ball half-century helped him add 93 with Australian Ferguson, who went on to complete his own fifty off 111 balls - his first in Championship cricket for the Pears.
Ben Cox then hit the last of the day's half-centuries late on, going to the close on the back of a 36-run stand with recalled former opener Brett D'Oliveira, who will resume on 20.
Pears batsman Callum Ferguson told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"Chris Jordan managed to get the ball swinging. We know he is extremely skilful and a real competitor. He bowled really well and challenged all of us. But it was a gutsy fightback.
"It was disappointing for myself and Ross Whiteley to get out so quickly after each other. But the boys batted really smartly to the back end of the day and we've given ourselves every chance of putting together a bit of a lead.
"I feel like I'm batting really well. I've probably not made the runs I would have liked to so far in the red ball stuff but I've had some really good starts and feel like I'm starting to get some good rhythm."--
Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie:
"We had a good morning session. From where we were (102-6) to get over 250 and then to reduce Worcestershire to 14-2 by lunch-time was a really good effort.
"I was pretty disappointed with how we started in the afternoon. We gave two experienced players in Callum Ferguson and Riki Wessels the momentum and the impetus.
"But Chris Jordan came in after tea, got us a couple of wickets and we just had to keep chipping away, setting the tone and being ruthless with our line and length."
Worcestershire switch Australia 'A' game to Chester Road
Worcestershire have confirmed that they have also switched next week's one-day tour game against Australia 'A' to Chester Road.
Following an improvement in the weather, the River Severn has now reached its peak, the waters are starting to recede and the clean-up operation has begun in parts of the ground at flood-hit New Road.
But, on past experience, it usually takes three weeks to get the place ready for cricket again after a New Road flood. And a more likely return date is now the County Championship fixture against Derbyshire on 7 July.
''We would once again like to thank Kidderminster for their assistance," said Worcestershire chief executive Matt Rawnsley.
'We appreciate tickets for this fixture against Australia 'A' are in high demand so additional seating and facilities will be added to Chester Road in readiness."