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May 11, 2013
Worcestershire 320 for 7 dec (Samaraweera 100*, Pardoe 59, Naik 5-98) and 61 for 1 dec drew with Leicestershire 379 for 8 dec (Eckersley 122, Sarwan 79, Thakor 52*, Choudhry 4-111)
Leicestershire followed the logical course by batting through much of the final day as their Division Two basement battle with Worcestershire in the drifted to a draw.
Having lost three wickets in picking up two more bonus points before lunch, they kept Worcestershire in the field until tea, with Shiv Thakor making an unbeaten 52 prior to a declaration at 379 for 8. In 20 overs before the captains shook hands at 4.50pm, the home side made 61 for 1, nudging into a lead of two runs after Jigar Naik had dismissed Matt Pardoe for his sixth wicket in the game.
It was certainly not a match to enjoy for the handful of spectators who stuck it out to the end in cool, blustery conditions. The equivalent of a day's play was lost because of rain and the scoring rate was pegged at below three an over on a sluggish pitch.
Apart from a brief burst with the new ball, in which Jack Shantry removed the overnight century-maker Ned Eckersley, Worcestershire mostly relied on their spinners, Shaaiq Choudhry and Moeen Ali, who shared six wickets in bowling 82 overs between them.
When Leicestershire resumed at 229 for 2, Eckersley added only 14 before he was out for 122. Surprised by a ball from Shantry, which appeared to stop on him, he jabbed a simple catch to Gareth Andrew at midwicket. Eckersley's partnership with Ramnaresh Sarwan produced 139 and in Shantry's next over, a low drive by Josh Cobb gave Andrew a more difficult catch.
Shantry's spell of 2 for 20 in eight overs was largely responsible for a slow start by Leicestershire, but Sarwan injected some urgency by cutting and diving for four and six off successive balls from Choudhry. In his haste to lift the tempo, the West Indies batsman fell for 79 when he skied Moeen towards long-on where Neil Pinner ran in from the boundary to take a well-judged catch.
Leicestershire nearly ground to a halt as they approached 300 but Matt Boyce secured the extra batting point by taking 10 runs off three balls from Choudhry in the 110th over.
Choudhry had his revenge when bowling Boyce behind his legs for 29 and the left-arm spinner went on to remove Rob Taylor and Naik for a full return of 4 for 111. Thakor, however, was not for shifting and the teenager hit four fours and a six in adding another half-century to previous scores of 114 against Kent and 75 against Gloucestershire.
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