Worcs v Kent, Div 2, New Road, 2nd day April 14, 2014

Moeen chases England spot

Press Association

Worcestershire 224 and 41 for 0 lead Kent 229 (Bell-Drummond 61, Harmison 55, Andrew 4-42, Moeen 3-43) by 36 runs

Half-centuries from Daniel Bell-Drummond and Ben Harmison helped Kent establish a narrow first-innings lead over Worcestershire before the hosts fought back on day two of their LV= County Championship Division Two match.

Bell-Drummond made 61 and Harmison 55 in Kent's 229, replying to Worcestershire's 224, the visitors losing their final four wickets for just 21 runs, including the last three in 11 balls.

Gareth Andrew did much of the damage with the ball, running through the tail and also getting rid of Harmison as he returned figures of 4 for 42.

Moeen Ali's contribution was just as telling, though, as he picked up three wickets, including that of Bell-Drummond, and took a fantastic one-handed catch to help remove Harmison, all useful success as he pushes for a Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

The hosts were 41 without loss in their second innings at stumps, a lead of 36 runs.

A glorious morning at New Road started well for the home side as they got rid of Brendan Nash for three.

Nash added just two to his overnight score before being deceived by a short delivery from Jack Shantry, with Tom Kohler-Cadmore's catch handing the bowler his second wicket of the match.

Harmison, the new man in, and Bell-Drummond played patiently, taking the score past the hundred mark before lunch.

Bell-Drummond brought up his half-century from 124 balls, but the duo's partnership of 81 was ended by Ali, who coaxed the 20-year-old, who had been chasing his second first-class century, into a questionable sweep and trapped him lbw.

The dismissal, after Bell-Drummond had faced 163 balls and hit six fours, left Kent on 127 for 4.

The arrival of Darren Stevens helped to lift the run rate, the veteran hitting five boundaries on his way to 23 and starting to look a danger when Ali struck once more for the Pears, again trapping his man lbw.

And Worcestershire got a sixth wicket before tea, with Harmison, on 49, losing another partner as Sam Billings went lbw to Andrew for a swift 13.

Harmison brought up his hard-earned half-century from 192 balls soon after the break, but Andrew struck again to bowl James Tredwell for 15 and leave Kent on 208 for 7.

Worcestershire's two key men combined to end Harmison's resistance four overs later as Ali held a brilliant catch at mid-off off Andrew, bringing the batsman's four-hour stay at the crease to an end.

Andrew then took his second wicket of the over as he made light work of Robbie Joseph (four), with Ali wrapping up the innings by bowling Mitchell Claydon (16) in the next over.

Daryl Mitchell (22) and Matthew Pardoe (18) ensured Worcestershire's second innings got off to a steady start.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Syed on April 16, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    I think they are suggesting he could be the primary spinner that is also a good batsman?

  • Vaughan on April 16, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    I don't think t20s have any bearing on test form, I was merely commenting on a previous posting asking to refer to his current England form (which was only in t20s). I think he should churn out some decent runs at county level before he gets considered for the test team. This article seems to suggest 3 wickets and a 40 odd presses his England case. I dont!

  • alex on April 15, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    England side should be : Cook, Robson, Bell, Root, Morgan/Taylor/Ballance, Ali, Prior, Stokes, Jordan, Broad, Anderson - lots of balance in the team : two spinners , four fast bowlers and a very deep batting order

  • Lakpriya on April 15, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    He will be a good choice for the limited over teams, but certainly not for the tests, seriously speaking don't England have any other good players than a player who has a FC average of 37.

  • Stuart on April 15, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    @Vaughanographic; do you really think T20 form is any guide to Test/first class form? Fair enough call that Robson's kicking the door down harder in first class cricket at the moment.

    @Crockit; Tredwell ready to perform a specialist spinner role, after averaging close to 60 last county season? Best case ever for going with the best seamers/quicks; tough to ignore Finn's recent form. Onions won't let anyone down either. Ali's FC bowling average of 41, at 1.2 wickets per match, is hardly a reason to pick him as a batsman.

  • Vaughan on April 15, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    Gosh I hope not... before the Hampshire game he had played 8 t20s in a row- no preparation for test cricket. And his t20 international batting average is 9.5!

    There is a no doubt that Ali is a classy player, but if England is going to get test players in with a first class average of 37 I would hope they are scoring heavily in the last few games (like Robson). A 40 odd and a 69 in the previous game doesn't count as heavy scoring

  • a on April 15, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Its a very gentle push at best. Trott (health permitting), Cook and Bell are shoe ins leaving 2 spots in the top 5. Robson has pushed hardest for the opening slot and Taylor for the middle order slot. I am assuming here that though selectors like Root he will not be fit and that the drive for a new start outweighs the continuity arguments for the likes of Carberry, Compton and Ballance. In any event Moeen is behind most of these when it comes to a specialist batting slot. His best hope lies in the bareness of the spin cupboard. Unless Panesar makes a proper return to form it is really only Tredwell who looks ready to perform a specialist spinner role. England might take a punt on a part-time spinner to go with 4 frontline seamers in certain situations and in this scenario Moeen is the best option. With Stokes injured he could bat at 6, probably Prior at 7 and a pace attack of Broad, Anderson and probably two of Bresnan, Finn and Jordan

  • Steve on April 15, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @Vaughanographic - So you missed those games he played for the national team recently? Because I think that they might be taking those into consideration as well, you know.

  • Vaughan on April 15, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Very entertaining! SO... a guy who currently bats 3 is pushing for an England spot in the test team by scoring 41 and getting 3 wickets (and a catch)? Is that good enough to "push a claim" for England?

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