Leic v Worc, Specsavers Championship Div 2, Grace Road, 1st day May 22, 2016

Leicestershire's imports again show their value

ECB Reporters Network

Leicestershire 253 for 4 (Horton 89, Robson 50, Dexter 50) v Worcestershire

Paul Horton experience at the top of the order again proved valuable © Getty Images

Bringing in experienced batsmen Paul Horton, Neil Dexter and Mark Pettini from Lancashire, Middlesex and Essex respectively  has already paid considerable dividends for Leicestershire this season, and it did so again on the first day of the County Championship match against Worcestershire.

Horton hit 89, Dexter 50 and Pettini closed on unbeaten on 40 after Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell exercised the away team's right to bowl first at the County Ground.  

Mitchell's decision was based on the pitch having a greenish tinge, but while the ball swung throughout the day, and there was good carry, there was little movement off the seam.  Attempting to give the ball time to swing, the Worcestershire bowlers also regularly over-pitched, and Horton, opening the Leicestershire batting with Angus Robson,  took full advantage, hitting eight fours in going to his 50 off just 59 balls.

Six of those boundaries were drives through the covers, but Horton could have been dismissed on 54, when he edged an attempted drive at Charlie Morris, only for Tom Kohler-Cadmore to spill the chance low to his left at second slip.

Remarkably Horton was dropped again by Kohler-Cadmore at first slip, a far easier chance off Joe Leach when on 80, and the opening partnership had reached 141 when Robson, who had just gone to his 50, edged a Morris outswinger and wicketkeeper Ben Cox held a fine one-handed catch diving to his right.

Horton, who now has a century and three half-centuries to his name since joining Leicestershire from Lancashire, then became the first of two victims for New Zealand seamer Matt Henry, missing a well-pitched up delivery and being given out leg before.

Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove followed in short order and in exactly the same manner, leg before to a delivery which swung in and stayed a touch low.

At 157 for 3 Leicestershire were wobbling, but Pettini and Dexter added 86 for the fourth wicket, before Dexter, having just gone to his half-century off 104 deliveries, went lbw on the back foot to Jack Shantry. It was the third time he had reached 50 in six innings this season.

Bad light and rain saw 13 overs lost before play resumed at 6.30pm. Leicestershire added eight runs in the five overs that remained.