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Last-wicket stand keeps Worcestershire waiting

Derbyshire 295 and 183 for 3 v Worcestershire 559 for 8 dec
Scorecard

Steffan Jones made the highest score by a Derbyshire number 11 batsman as Worcestershire lost some momentum at New Road in their drive for a third victory of the season in the County Championship.

The 36-year-old Welshman smashed 86 from 70 balls - surpassing Nick Walker's record of 80 against Somerset at Derby in 2004 - and partnered Tim Groenewald in the second highest last-wicket stand in the county's 139-year history.

Their big-hitting interlude yielded 123, only nine short of the all-time mark set by Alan Hill and Martin Jean-Jacques against Yorkshire in 1986, but it was not enough to alter the shape of the game.

With Derbyshire made to follow on 264 behind, Worcestershire looked for another big effort from the four main seamers who shared the workload in wrapping up the visitors' first innings for 295.

An opening stand of 51 by Chris Rogers (32) and Wayne Madsen (34) suggested it would be tougher for the bowlers second time round but Worcestershire edged towards their prize when taking three wickets for 183 by the close.

Derbyshire were still 81 short of avoiding an innings defeat in a match that had been dominated by the home side up to the 21.2 overs in which Jones and Groenewald were together.

For Worcestershire it was an unexpected hold-up after further progress, spearheaded by Alan Richardson who took 4 for 72. Seventh-wicket pair Robin Peterson (46) and Tom Poynton put on 50 before joining a procession of batsmen caught in the slips and Tom Lungley was ninth out with the score at 172, snapped up behind the wicket off Gareth Andrew.

Jones, however, is no ordinary number 11. He made two first-class centuries for Somerset and no bowler can feel safe when he swings the bat. Namesake Richard Jones was first to suffer, conceding 16 in an over, and replacement Jack Shantry was soon hit for six and two fours.

Groenewald (35 not out) tethered his attacking instinct until clearing the rails alongside the pavilion. Jones, having hit 15 fours and a six, was last out, caught on the cover boundary off Andrew.

When Derbyshire batted again, they showed some resilience but failed to carry it through as Shantry and Andrew forced errors by the top three. It was only when Greg Smith, unbeaten on 54, got together with Garry Park (34 not out) in the final session that Worcestershire's seamers began to feel the strain of bowling 94 overs in their long day in the field.

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Worcs 4th innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st32PA JaquesDKH Mitchell
2nd90VS SolankiPA Jaques
3rd4VS SolankiAN Kervezee