CricInfo Championship: Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire at Worcester, 29 Jun - 2 Jul 2001
Roy Bradley

Worcestershire 2nd innings: Day Two: Lunch, Day Two: Tea, Day Two: Stumps,
Live Reports from previous days


WESTON PUTS WORCESTERSHIRE INTO STRONG POSITION

Philip Weston scored his first century for two years as Worcestershire piled up a lead of 444 against Nottinghamshire in search of their home Championship of the season.

After a first day of 20 wickets and centuries by Graeme Hick and Kevin Pietersen, the game quietened down under Weston's more measured supervision.

The left handed opener made an unbeaten 185 in six-and-a-half hours but only one of his partners got as far as 40 in Worcestershire's second innings total of 356 for 8.

Nottinghamshire were made to pay for a missed chance at mid-off during Weston's rapid progress to 50 off 76 balls in an opening partnership of 96 in 24 overs with Anurag Singh.

The initial impetus was then lost as Notts used their left-arm spinners, Richard Stemp and Usman Afzaal, in support of the seamers. Singh clipped a catch to mid-on and Graeme Hick played on for two wickets by Stemp and then Afzaal had Vikram Solanki taken at cover before bowling Nick Boulton.

The pacemen were also rewarded, first when David Leatherdale edged David Lucas to slip and again when Andrew Harris took two wickets in the last over before tea.

The game was in the balance, with Worcestershire 313 ahead at 225 for 7, but Weston accelerated with a third 50 in 64 balls and Stuart Lampitt made 40 in an eighth-wicket stand of 120.

Weston, who scored his last century against Leicestershire in July 1999, carried on his marathon to finish a day at the crease with 31 fours from 299 balls.



WESTON CENTURY EARNS WORCESTERSHIRE THE INITIATIVE

Philip Weston's highest Championship score in two years put Worcestershire in control after a bizarre first day of 20 wickets and centuries for Graeme Hick and Kevin Pietersen.

The pitch was absolved by umpires Tony Clarkson and John Holder in their mandatory report to the ECB and their verdict was fully supported by Weston's unbeaten 109 in a tea score of 225 for 7 - a lead of 313.

The left handed opener was badly missed at mid-off on 32 while taking four hours to reach his 16th career hundred and his first since making 157 against Leicestershire in July 1999.

It was a two-paced innings with a first 50 in 76 balls during a stand of 96 with Anurag Singh but then an hour in the 90s until he cover drove Usman Afzaal for his 17th boundary.

The change in tempo was influenced by the loss of four wickets to the left-arm spinners, Richard Stemp and Afzaal, and two in Andrew Harris's last over before tea.



WESTON PUTS WORCESTERSHIRE IN CONTROL

The New Road pitch received a double vote of confidence after the dismissal of both teams on the first day.

Umpires Tony Clarkson and John Holder absolved the surface of blame for the loss of 20 wickets and Worcestershire openers Philip Weston and Anurag Singh thrived in a stand of 96 in 24 overs.

Brisk progress swelled their county's lead to 184 before Singh mistimed a drive off left-arm spinner Richard Stemp and gave a straightforward catch to Darren Bicknell at mid-on.

Weston moved on to 77 at lunch and Graeme Hick added 13 to his first innings century as Worcestershire extended their advantage to 214 on reaching 126 for 1.

Nottinghamshire had kept a toehold in the game thanks to an unbeaten 103 by Kevin Pietersen yesterday but the South African-born batsman's single-handed defiance went to waste this morning.

Weston played positively from the outset and made the most of a bad miss at 32 when Andrew Harris fumbled a chance off David Lucas at mid-off.

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Date-stamped : 01 Jul2001 - 02:25