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Johnson again holds up Leicestershire

Second XI Championship - Day Two: Worcestershire 161 (Sheikh 6-60) and 251-3 lead Leicestershire 257 (Patel 47, Raine 45) by 156 runs

A late wicket from Angus Robson, courtesy of a fine Karl Turner catch, kept the door ajar for Leicestershire Second XI at Worcestershire.

Resuming on 117-4 with the sun seemingly still not on Kidderminster's radar, County progressed to 257 all out in reply to the hosts' 161.

Sunny Patel and Ben Raine added a further 43 in 9.4 overs, taking their fifth-wicket stand to 110 before both fell to David Lucas. Patel was caught by 'keeper Michael Johnson (47, 105b) while Raine (45,82b) also narrowly missed out on a half-century as Tom Kohler-Cadmore took the catch at slip.

Leicestershire were now 163-6 but solid knocks from impressive young duo Aadil Ali (30, 49b) and Oliver Steele (26, 54b), together with useful contributions from Ian Holland (10) and captain Ollie Freckingham (18), ensured the team added a further 94.

Ali and Holland added 28 before both were dismissed by slow left armer Shaaiq Choudhry, and the score moved to 237-8 at lunch (81 overs).

Steele was trapped lbw by John Denning and Freckingham was caught by Connor Smith off George Rhodes to wrap up the innings after the break, but not before Freckingham had hammered a huge six onto the railway embankment - it narrowly avoided the 13.55 from Birmingham to Hereford!

Atif Sheikh was six not out as Leicestershire claimed a first innings lead of 96. Bowling figures returned were: Lucas 2-44 (19), Denning 1-60 (17), Choudhry 2-40 (15), Joe Leach 2-42 (17), Smith 2-32, Rhodes 1-22 (5).

Although Freckingham had Matt Pardoe (4) caught at square leg by Robson early in the second innings, two substantial partnerships then made it a long afternoon for the side.

Johnson made a century in the Trophy and on Monday and he was exactly 100 not out at stumps, the milestone containing 14 fours and spanning 182 balls.

The captain shared 118 for the second wicket with Kohler-Cadmore (68, 93b) and 124 for the third with Leach (57, 80b). The 50 landmarks for Kohler-Cadmore and Leach came from 63 balls (10x4, 1x6) and 80 deliveries (9x4) respectively.

Two wickets were claimed between the accumulation, the first falling as Sheikh had Kohler-Cadmore well caught by Holland running back from mid-wicket.

Robson then crucially struck towards the back end of the day as Leach was brilliantly snapped up by Turner at first slip. The fielder took the catch one-handed, Worcestershire closing on 251-3 and therefore taking a lead of 156 into the final day.

Bowling figures were: Freckingham 1-32 (10), Sheikh 1-45 (11), Raine 0-36 (7), Ben Collins 0-56 (12), Holland 0-33 (9), Robson 1-22 (6), Turner 0-20 (6).

Pete Johnson


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