Foxes fight hard in New Road loss

Worcestershire versus Leicestershire, Specsavers County Championship, Day 4:

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo HERE

INTERVIEW | Mark Cosgrove spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps, the interview is available HERE

HIGHLIGHTS | The highlights of the final day are available HERE

RESULT | Worcestershire (24 points) beat Leicestershire (7 points) by six wickets

REPORT | Leicestershire put up a tremendous fight before losing to promotion-chasing Worcestershire by six wickets in an absorbing encounter at New Road.

Resuming 22 ahead with three second innings wickets intact, Lewis Hill (60) and Zak Chappell (66) batted superbly in sharing 103 in 23.2 overs for the eighth wicket.

The Foxes were ultimately dismissed for 220 all out in their second innings so Worcestershire required 132 to win.

Callum Parkinson recorded his maiden ten-wicket match haul, returning superb figures of 10 for 185 after picking up 2 for 37 to go with the first innings analysis of 8 for 148.

So although the Pears got over the line, Leicestershire made their hosts work extremely hard for their 24 points.

Leicestershire resumed their second innings at 111 for 7 with Hill on 18* and Chappell joining the wicket-keeper at the crease following Ben Raine’s dismissal at the end of day three.

Chappell immediately got the scoreboard moving, finding the boundary on three occasions from the bowling of Josh Tongue, who opted for a short-pitched attack, before producing further excellent strokes against Ravichandran Ashwin.

The batsman played two superb reverse sweeps before advancing to drive through extra cover, which was an exquisite stroke given Ashwin was operating around the wicket.

When Ashwin came back over, Chappell struck handsomely down the ground to record the 50 partnership with his seventh four.

The score at progressed to 174 for 7, with Chappell one short of 50 and Hill on 31, when rain forced the players from the field.

Three overs were lost and Chappell completed his half-century from 63 balls with a beautiful straight six off Ashwin.

Hill pulled Ed Barnard for four before the lead stretched into three figures when a length ball bounced sharply and flew off the keeper's bat for four over slip.

The 'keeper then moved to 50 from 96 balls (5x4) before producing a supremely timed sweep off Ashwin to find the fence for a sixth time.

A brace from Chappell took the stand into three figures but it was ended by Pat Brown, whose short delivery was pulled by Chappell to Brett D'Oliveira at mid-wicket.

The tall seamer then dismissed Dieter Klein (0) in an identical manner with Joe Clarke taking the catch on this occasion. Leicestershire led by 127 as Parkinson made his way to the wicket.

Hill produced a superb cut to send Ashwin to the ropes but the off-spinner struck with his next delivery as the ‘keeper swept to D’Oliveira to deep backward square-leg.

There was time for one over of the second innings before lunch and the last ball went for four off Daryl Mitchell’s outside edge.

A partnership formed after lunch but the batsmen did not have it all of their own way as Raine beat the outside of the bat on occasions and also saw a D’Oliveira inside edge flash past Hill for four.

Parkinson made the opening breakthrough in his second over as D’Oliveira (15) moved across the stumps, missed an attempted sweep, and saw middle stump was uprooted.

Tom Fell had two close calls early in the innings as an edge off Parkinson dropped just short of slip and an on-drive from the bowling of Raine dropped inches short of Aadil.

The batsmen recorded fours with a couple of nice leg glances before Parkinson struck for the tenth time in the game when a forward defensive stroke from Mitchell (24) rolled back on to the wicket.

Raine, who bowled the first 12 overs from the Diglis End, claimed a deserved wicket by bowling Fell (18) and Worcestershire were 69 for 3, still requiring 63 to win.

Clarke and George Rhodes settled in before upping the tempo to take their side to the brink of victory with a fourth wicket stand of 55. Clarke played a number of impressive strokes, including two neatly driven boundaries through the off-side in the 29th over, before being trapped leg before by Aadil Ali - it was the youngster’s maiden first-class wicket.

Tea was delayed with Worcestershire close to victory, and Rhodes (22*) and Ashwin (5*) were the unbeaten batsmen at the end of the game.

There is no game next week so Leicestershire’s final Specsavers County Championship fixture of the campaign will be at home to Northants on Monday week.

Bowling figures for Leicestershire: Raine 12-1-43-1, Chappell 3-0-16-0, Parkinson 11-1-37-2, Klein 3.2-0-20-0, Aadil 1-0-10-1.

* Thanks to John Mallett for the photograph of Callum Parkinson bowling at New Road today.