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Sheikh rattles, and rolls Worcestershire

Second XI Championship Day 1: Worcestershire Second XI 161 (Sheikh 6-60) lead Leicestershire 117-4 (Patel 36*, Raine 26*) by 44 runs.

Left arm paceman Atif Sheikh took 6-60 as Leicestershire Second XI enjoyed a good first day against Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

After Worcestershire won the toss and batted, the game got started under leaden skies, with the weather having an end of September feel to it.

Between three stoppages for rain, in which only 16 overs were lost, Worcestershire were dismissed for 161 in 41.3 overs. There was also a strange delay after 23.4 overs of the innings as the umpires had to call a halt to proceedings for a short period as two seagulls fought over a lump of bread!

The pacy Sheikh (pictured right) got things off to a great start by reducing Worcestershire to 17-3 with a fine spell from the Pavilion End.

He had Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught behind by Oliver Steele for four before dismissing Trophy centurion Michael Johnson to the first ball the batsman faced at the start of the next over. The batsman was caught at gully by fellow trialist Ian Holland.

Sheikh was not on a hat-trick as he bowled at Matt Pardoe inbetween those strikes but the seamer soon had a third wicket as the left-handed opener was trapped leg-before.

Joe Leach (45) and Shaaiq Choudhry (13) added an innings best stand of 45 for the fourth wicket before Worcestershire slipped from 62-3 to 92-7.

Choudhry was caught by Steele off Holland (6-2-14-2), who also bowled George Rhodes, while Jamie Harris was caught at the wicket off Ben Raine (9-2-36-1). Leach was bowled by Sheikh (17-4-60-6), his 45 containing ten fours.

David Lucas was later bowled to become Sheikh's fifth wicket while the bowler struck again as Connor Smith top edged high and gently to become Steele's fourth catch of the innings after making a valiant 35. Captain Ollie Freckingham (11.3-3-30-1) wrapped up the innings by bowling John Denning, Liam Smith being the designated non-batsman.

In reply, Karl Turner and Angus Robson shared a solid 40 for the first wicket before four wickets fell for the addition of ten runs. Turner was bowled by Leach (9-1-21-2) for 24 (58b) and the gutsy Robson (23, 64b), who was prepared to face 33 balls before getting off the mark in the 11th over, fell in similar fashion.

Harry Bush (0) was caught at slip by Kohler-Cadmore off Liam Smith (6-1-16-2), who then bowled Garth Davson (3). It took a fine unbroken stand of 67 between Sunny Patel (36*, 73b) and Raine (26*, 51b) to guide Leicestershire to 117-4 at stumps, the players leaving the field at 7.40pm with 44 overs having been bowled.

Pete Johnson


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