Worcestershire v Sussex, New Road, 2nd day

Moeen keeps Worcester afloat

May 17, 2012

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Worcestershire 231 for 7 (Ali 85) trail Sussex 315 (Nash 84) by 84 runs runs

Moeen Ali plays a sweep shot, Worcestershire v Surrey, County Championship, Division One, 2nd day, New Road, May 10, 2012
Moeen Ali's 85 enabled Worcestershire to work their way towards Sussex's total © Getty Images

Moeen Ali battled to keep Worcestershire afloat in a hard-fought second day at New Road. Ali, the England Lions left-hander, made 85 from 179 balls as the home side reached 231 for 7 - still trailing by 84 - after their former seamer Steve Magoffin had shone with bat and ball for Sussex.

Magoffin smashed an unbeaten 41 to secure a third bonus point while leading Sussex to 315 and then removed compatriot Michael Klinger in a faltering start by Worcestershire. Klinger (15) edged to second slip in his last championship match before Phil Hughes takes up Worcestershire's overseas slot at the end of the month.

Jimmy Anyon, who put on 59 for Sussex's ninth wicket with Magoffin, made the first breakthrough with a full-length delivery cutting back at Daryl Mitchell (17). But it was Magoffin's brisk pace and unerring line that did most to keep up the pressure. Nine of his first 18 overs were maidens and late in the day he came back with the new ball to remove Gareth Andrew for a full return of 2 for 28.

Monty Panesar removed two top-order batsmen. With England usually playing only one spinner in home Tests, he has to be content with understudy role, but as he showed in the series against Pakistan earlier in the year, he has much to offer when paired with Graeme Swann on overseas pitches.

Anything he can do for his county will keep him in the selectors' thoughts - James Whitaker was a spectator at New Road - and straightaway he made an impact after being brought on to curb the attacking instincts of Vikram Solanki and Moeen. The change paid off in his third over. Solanki, having hit five fours in making 34, took up the challenge by venturing down the pitch but effectively yorked himself and the ball squeezed through to take the middle stump.

New batsman James Cameron clattered a six onto the roof of the New Road Stand before Panesar took his revenge with a good catch by Chris Nash at short leg.

Moeen, after some uncertainty, grew in authority and found an able partner in Matt Pardoe. Having saved Worcestershire from defeat by Surrey last week, Pardoe, a 21-year-old left hander, shared in a partnership of 96. They took the score to 206 for 4before falling to Naved Arif. Moeen was swishing across the line when given out lbw and Pardoe (28) nicked a routine catch behind the wicket.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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