Mitchell and Cameron rescue Worcestershire
Worcestershire 175 and 168 for 4 v Leicestershire 309
Acting captain Daryl Mitchell and newcomer James Cameron dragged Worcestershire out of a deep hole against Leicestershire in the County Championship at New Road. Still 75 behind on losing the fourth wicket in their second innings, the home side survived the remaining 35 overs and eased into a lead of 34 on reaching 168 for 4.
Teenager Nathan Buck led Leicestershire's early charge by taking the first three wickets for 19 runs, but they missed a potential short cut to victory by dropping three slip chances from Mitchell before he completed his half-century. The opener made the most of the reprieves in compiling an undefeated 63 and Cameron hit two sixes and six fours on his way to a maiden 50 from 87 balls.
With the left-hander on 62 not out in only his second Championship match, their unbroken partnership of 109 has already transformed a game that seemed in danger of finishing on the second day. Although the New Road pitch assisted the seamers from the outset, it has never been a minefield and ECB inspector David Hughes said he was happy with the surface when Worcestershire were dismissed for 175 in the first innings.
Leicestershire began day two in a promising position, resuming only 12 runs behind at 163 for 3, and their batsmen pressed home the advantage as they progressed to 309 and a lead of 134. Nightwatchman Buck became a first victim for Matt Mason in a spell of 2 for 9 and James Benning, in his first Championship innings of the season, chipped in with 29 until caught at first slip off Jack Shantry.
James Taylor, awaiting England Lions duty later in the week, dug in for nearly two hours for 27 and when he edged Mason to slip, it was left to Tom New to make the most of support from the lower order. Always positive, the left-hander hit 11 fours in making 58 - his fourth half-century of the season - before he played on to Richard Jones and Leicestershire were well in charge even when Gareth Andrew mopped up the last three wickets.
Worcestershire desperately needed to improve on their first innings, but Phil Jaques made a disappointing exit in his last Championship game before Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan takes up the overseas position. A nick to first slip from Buck's second delivery resulted in the Australian's sixth duck in 15 first-class innings.
Buck, who played for England in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January, kept the batsmen under pressure as he removed Moeen Ali (24) and Alexei Kervezee in successive overs.