Moeen milestone keeps Kent at bay
Worcestershire 213 for 7 (Fell 64*, Moeen 59, Tredwell 4-34) trail Kent 324 by 111 runs
Moeen Ali became the third player to reach 1,000 first-class runs for the season as Worcestershire struggled to get on terms with Kent at New Road.
The former Warwickshire batsman followed Joe Root (England and Yorkshire) and Chris Rogers (Middlesex and Australia) to the milestone while making 59 in his county's progress to 213 for 7 on a rain-shortened second day. Moeen's innings was crucial in trimming his team's deficit to 111 after James Tredwell's best Championship bowling performance for two years.
Tredwell twice took two wickets in five balls in posting figures of 4 for 34 but Worcestershire comfortably avoided the follow-on thanks to the composure of Tom Fell, the 19-year-old Oxford University batsman, who made an unbeaten 62 against Australia last month. He again looked impressive in scoring 64 not out from 123 balls on his second appearance in the Championship.
Fell's unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 55 with Jack Shantry made sure that Moeen's work was not wasted.
Having passed the 900 mark more than a month ago, the Moeen finally crossed the 1,000-run threshold when his eighth boundary, a crisp shot through midwicket off Mark Davies, took him to 43. By then Worcestershire had lost their openers, Matt Pardoe and Daryl Mitchell both giving slip catches in a spell of 2 for 23 by Darren Stevens, and soon after afterwards Thilan Samaraweera was taken behind the wicket off Calum Haggett.
For Kent it was another day of consolidation in their recovery from a dismal start to the season. Bottom of the division at the halfway stage, their campaign began to pick up with a first win against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. Now they are looking a stronger, more competitive unit. Their seamers pegged away with the necessary accuracy and the pressure led to mistakes by Worcestershire's top order, although it was a switch to Tredwell's spin that accounted for Moeen.
After batting for two and a half hours, a loose shot to mid-on sparked off a collapse in which Ben Cox, Joe Leach and Gareth Andrew were all snapped in a ring of close catchers.
When the seventh wicket fell at 158, Worcestershire still needed 15 to make Kent bat again but Shantry cleared that hurdle with two cover driven boundaries in an over from Davies. This seemed to take the momentum out of Kent and Fell, who made s duck in his only previous Championship innings against Glamorgan, cashed in with 10 fours.