Worcestershire v Yorkshire: Fell overshadows Moeen with century

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at New Road
Tim Bresnan and Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali fell to the bowling of Tim Bresnan in the afternoon session
LV= County Championship Division One, New Road (day one)
Worcestershire 264-8: Fell 114, Moeen 62, Brooks 3-38
Yorkshire: Yet to bat
Match scorecard

England batsman Moeen Ali hit a half century but was overshadowed by Worcestershire team-mate Tom Fell on the first day against Yorkshire.

After opting to bat on a blustery morning, Worcestershire were hit by two early wickets for Jack Brooks as they slumped to 11-2.

But Fell hit 114, well backed by 62 from Moeen, as the hosts recovered well to reach 264-8.

Gareth Andrew was still there on 42 when bad light forced an early close.

County champions Yorkshire were without six players - batsmen Joe Root, Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, spinner Adil Rashid and paceman Liam Plunkett - who have all preceded Moeen to the Caribbean for the short three-Test tour against the West Indies.

But, with Brooks, Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan on show, their bowling attack was barely weakened - and it showed as Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell's decision to bat first at New Road initially looked a poor one.

Fell hits maiden Championship century
Tom Fell's first Division One ton for Worcestershire was only his third first-class century

After the loss of opening partner Richard Oliver, caught behind third ball, Mitchell then steered a Brooks lifter to third slip before Moeen survived a sharp chance to Will Rhodes at short extra cover on 21.

In his first innings since suffering a side strain at the World Cup, Moeen was given an intense workout in his bid to prove his fitness in time to join the England squad.

But, after the hosts laboured to lunch on 77-2 off 30 overs, Moeen was more fluent in the afternoon as he helped 21-year-old Fell extend their third-wicket stand to 118 before becoming the first of Bresnan's three victims.

After the cheap loss of Alex Gidman on his Worcesterhsire debut, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Cox, Fell's time at the crease lasted close to four hours before being removed by a stunning legside take from Andrew Hodd, the best of the stand-in Yorkshire wicketkeeper's three catches.

That proved the prelude to an entertaining 39-run stand between the fully fit-again Andrew and Jack Shantry before the early close, in fading light, robbed a decent crowd of the day's final 14 overs.

Worcestershire batsman Tom Fell:

"I came in at a difficult situation. It wasn't necessarily doing a lot off the wicket, it was just the areas they bowled in.

"There was a little bit of swing, Brooks and Sidebottom bowled really well and gave us nothing.

"Yorkshire have got one of the best attacks in the Championship. That makes the century a bit more special, playing against the 2014 champions."

Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie:

"Overall we're quite happy. The pitch and outfield are a bit slow, so it was a patience game really, and we had to work hard.

"By and large we stuck to our task quite well."