County Championship: Richard Oliver hits century for Worcs

Richard Oliver
Richard Oliver made his first-class debut for Worcestershire in June 2014
LV= County Championship Division One, The County Ground
Sussex: 345 & 8-0
Worcestershire: 389 Oliver 101, Kervezee 93, Andrew 70, Magoffin 3-69
Worcestershire lead by 36 runs
Sussex 6pts, Worcestershire 7pts
Match scorecard

Worcestershire opener Richard Oliver hit his second first-class century as his side built a first-innings lead against Sussex on day two.

The left-hander struck 101 and Alexei Kervezee made 93 off 108 balls as the visitors were bowled out for 389.

All-rounder Gareth Andrew also struck a breezy 70, while Sussex's Steve Magoffin took 3-69, as Worcestershire earned a first-innings advantage of 44.

Captain Ed Joyce and Luke Wells then saw Sussex to the close on 8-0.

Former Shropshire captain Oliver, who had only scored 97 runs in his last nine County Championship innings at an average of 10.78, hit 13 boundaries in his 212-ball innings.

Resuming on 45-0, Oliver could only look on from non-striker's end as Worcestershire lost two early wickets.

A return to form for Oliver
Before his century against Sussex, Oliver had endured a lean spell in first-class cricket. In his previous nine innings the 25-year-old had registered scores of 0,1, 42, 0, 6, 23, 24, 1 and 0.

Matthew Hobden (3-86) bowled skipper Daryl Mitchell in just the third over of the day and then tempted Tom Fell to edge behind in his next over.

Oliver and Alex Gidman steadied the innings as the visitors reached 132-2 at lunch, but former Gloucestershire batsman Gidman fell shortly after the interval for 29 when he was trapped lbw by Magoffin and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (9) then nicked the Australian seamer to slip.

Kervezee, recalled to the Worcestershire line-up in place of Moeen Ali, took the attack to the bowlers in a quick-fire stand of 74 with Oliver as the visitors reached 227-4 before Oliver and Ben Cox (0) were both dismissed by Luke Wells in the space of four balls.

However, Kervezee found an able partner in Andrew as the pair put on 88 for the seventh wicket before Kervezee cut loosely and edged the ball to Ed Joyce in the slips, seven short of his century.

After Jack Shantry became Magoffin's third victim, Andrew continued to score freely and Sri Lankan Sachithra Senanayake struck some lusty blows as he raced to 32 before both fell in quick succession to bring the innings to a close.

Sussex head coach Mark Robinson:

"We work incredibly hard at our slip catching, but it's a specialist position and our most natural slipper (Mike Yardy) is one of seven players who are out of this game.

"We stayed in the game though. The heads never dropped and if we can get a competitive score in the second innings we will give ourselves a chance of winning."

Worcestershire batsman Richard Oliver:

"I felt I let the boys down a bit last week, so it was nice to be able to make a contribution in this game.

"It was hard work at times. I thought Sussex, particularly Steve Magoffin, bowled really well at times - the ball moved around all day.

"I made hard work of it at times and had some luck, so it was nice to hang around long enough to raise my bat for three figures.

"Against such good quality bowling it does feel like a good hundred, I'm just disappointed I then got out to a loose shot."

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