County Championship: Joe Leach follows Joe Clarke's lead with century at Worcester

Joe Clarke
Shropshire-born Clarke is in England Lions' winter programme for the second year running
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, New Road, day two
Worcestershire 475-7 dec: Clarke 194, Leach 107*, Mitchell 67; Cotton 3-63
Derbyshire 15-0
Worcestershire 4 pts, Derbyshire 2 pts
Scorecard

Joe Leach made his first century in three years while Joe Clarke reached a career-best 194 as Worcestershire amassed a big total against Derbyshire.

Having made 255-6 on the first day, Worcestershire batted a lot faster on day two, claiming a fourth bonus point inside the 110-over cut-off, then declaring on 475-7, with Leach on 107.

After adding 157 with Clarke, Leach was only seven shy of his own career-best.

Bottom club Derbyshire reached 15-0, before a weather-hit early finish.

After the players initially went off for rain, play was eventually ended at New Road by bad light.

Left-arm seamer Greg Cork, son of former England Test all-rounder Dominic Cork, sent down 16 overs without reward on his first-class debut.

England Lions batsman Clarke struck a six and 25 fours in his 328-ball knock, while Leach's hundred came off 138 balls - his first since hitting 114 against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in July 2013.

Worcestershire centurion Joe Leach told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"It has been a long time coming. I've got a few 80s and 90s and it has been disappointing not to convert into hundreds but sometimes, batting at number eight, you can't.

"It was nice to have the opportunity to bat with Joe Clarke for a long time and then Ed Barnard and not have to get into a mode where I was batting with the tail.

"Jack Shantry might just have to be a little bit quieter now because he was 2-1 up in terms of hundreds scored. We are 2-2 now thankfully. I can't have him beating me.

Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman told BBC Radio Derby:

"Worcestershire getting 475 was a lot more than we would have hoped. Once you do a whole day in the field, the first hour the next morning, sometimes runs can leak and that's what happened.

"We could have exploited the conditions in the first session on Tuesday better. We bowled a bit wide and short, but we came back excellently in the last session and a half of the first day to keep us in the game.

"It's a young attack, but it's a great opportunity for the young guys to show what they can do at first class level and gain experience."

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