Kervezee ton denies Derbyshire
Worcestershire 279 and 328 for 6 dec. drew with Derbyshire 405
Alexei Kervezee defied Derbyshire's bowlers for the second time this season when his career-best 155 helped Worcestershire to safety at Derby. Opener Daryl Mitchell also kept the home attack at bay with a five-and-a-half hour 71 out of a fourth wicket stand of 181 in 54 overs with Kervezee, who scored his maiden first-class century against Derbyshire at New Road in May.
The pair batted well into the afternoon and although Mark Footitt removed Mitchell with the second new ball, Worcestershire were 125 runs ahead by then and the teams later shook hands on the draw with the visitors 328 for 6, a lead of 202.
It might have been different if Derbyshire captain Chris Rogers had not dropped Kervezee at slip off Greg Smith when the 20-year-old Dutchman was on 39. At that stage, Worcestershire had only just wiped out the arrears of 126 and were three runs in front but Kervezee did not give Derbyshire a second chance.
He had twice driven Robin Peterson's left-arm spin for two sixes in an over on his way to a 75-ball fifty which he reached by clipping Smith to the midwicket boundary. Derbyshire rotated their bowlers in search of the breakthrough but with Mitchell playing the anchor role and Kervezee dispatching anything loose, Worcestershire sat down to lunch with a lead of 39 and seven wickets still standing.
The home side had to strike quickly to have any chance of forcing victory but they did not bowl well enough and Kervezee pulled Smith over wide long on for his third six on his way to an excellent hundred which contained 11 fours. Derbyshire's last hope was the second new ball and although Tim Groenewald rattled the side of Kervezee's helmet with a short delivery, they only took the wicket of Mitchell in the afternoon.
He had faced 181 balls when he edged Footitt low to first slip where Rogers this time hung on but the game had all but gone and by tea, Worcestershire were 148 runs on at 274 for 4.
After a short shower briefly delayed the start of the final session, Kervezee straight drove Peterson for a big six and hit Garry Park's medium pace for three fours in an over to bring up his 150 which had come from 204 balls.
There was at least some belated success for Derbyshire as Shakib Al Hasan fell hooking before Kervezee's superb innings was ended by Chesney Hughes who celebrated his maiden first-class wicket thanks to a well-judged diving catch by Footitt at deep midwicket.
Rogers gave his legspin a rare outing before Worcestershire declared with the home side banking nine points and the visitors collecting seven.