County Championship: Joe Leach takes five wickets for Worcs

Joe Leach celebrated the third five-wicket haul of his career, all of which have been away from New Road
Joe Leach celebrated the third five-wicket haul of his career, all of which have been away from New Road
LV= County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day two)
Hampshire 222: Adams 48, Smith 40, Leach 5-63
Worcestershire 221-3: Mitchell 80 no, Fell 48
Worcestershire 4 pts, Hampshire 2 pts
Match scorecard

Worcestershire batted themselves into a strong position at Southampton on another day affected by bad weather.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell found his touch to make his best score of the season so far, unbeaten on 80, before bad light called a halt with Worcestershire on 221-3, just one run in arrears.

Earlier, Hampshire, having resumed on 119-4, were bowled out for 222,

Opening bowler Joe Leach took three more wickets to finish with 5-63, his second five-wicket haul of the season.

Handing over the gauntlets . . .
Hampshire had a change of wicketkeeper for the final session of the day. James Vince took over behind the timbers following an earlier injury picked up by Adam Wheater.

It meant that Hampshire had lost their last 10 wickets for just 134, having looked well set on 88-0 on the opening day.

After Leach had taken his tally of wickets for the season to 23, Worcestershire soon capitalised on his good work, Mitchell and Richard Oliver putting on 62 for the first wicket.

Mitchell, who had only managed one first-class half century previously this summer, added a further 94 for the second wicket with Tom Fell (48).

Worcestershire opening bowler Joe Leach:

''We have got a very high regard for Daryl Mitchell. He is the linchpin of our batting and has not got as many runs this season as he would have liked. You could see by the reception he got when he came off the field how delighted we were for him.

''At this level, if you bowl out a side for 222 you have to be happy. It vindicated our decision to bowl first. It was a very disciplined performance by our bowling unit. We aimed to keep the run rate down and while the first wicket was a long time coming on the first day, four fell quickly and we were able to maintain the momentum.''

Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein:

"Over the past year, we have not played as poorly as this all round. Credit to Worcestershire. They have stuck to their game plan, particularly in the field.

''We have been really poor and I am not used to that. They did not give us any runs, which was completely the opposite to us.''

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