County Championship: Joe Clarke ton earns controversial Worcester win over Foxes

Worcestershire and England Lions batsman Joe Clarke
Worcestershire and England Lions batsman Joe Clarke hit his third Championship ton of 2016
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, New Road, day three:
Leicestershire 407& 307-3 dec: Cosgrove 146, Horton 117*
Worcestershire 349&369-7: Clarke 123, Whiteley 71; Shreck 4-104
Worcestershire (21 pts) beat Leicestershire (6 pts) by three wickets

Joe Clarke hit a controversial century as Worcestershire successfully chased a target of 366 in 75 overs to beat Leicestershire with 10 balls to spare.

Clarke was given out lbw on 31 by umpire Jeremy Lloyds, only to be recalled as square-leg umpire Graham Lloyd had heard an edge off the bat.

Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove had a heated exchange with the umpires.

But Clarke went on to score 123, backed by half-centuries from Ross Whiteley (71) and Joe Leach (64 not out).

Whiteley was dropped three times by Leicestershire, who gave themselves brief hope late on when wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley ran out Clarke with a direct hit, with 21 runs still needed.

It followed a poor call from vice-captain Leach, but Worcestershire got home on 369-7.

Their three-wicket win lifted them up to third in the table, two points above the Foxes - and 22 points behind leaders Essex.

Leicestershire's complaint was that the Clarke incident had not been dealt with fairly, the laws of the game stating that any such recall should happen "promptly".

Clarke had not only crossed the boundary rope, but was through the gate and about to be replaced by the incoming batsman Ben Cox, just as the mode of his dismissal was being announced over the public address system.

Earlier, Cosgrove (148) had hit a ton himself, extending his stand with Paul Horton (117 not out) to 264 - a new third-wicket Leicestershire record in matches against Worcestershire.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"I have seen something like that before. George Sharp once gave Daryl Mitchell out and realised he'd made a mistake and reversed the decision and there have been other occasions it has been done.

"You have to take that sort of thing on the chin. I know it is going to upset Leicestershire but, if the umpire thinks he has made the wrong decision, then he has a right to change his decision and you just get on with it.

"In many ways we got out of gaol. Leicestershire were a team that were ahead of us for a period of time but we showed when it really mattered.

"Joe Clarke's innings was a match-winning innings and the partnerships he put together with Ross Whiteley and Joe Leach were excellent."

Leicestershire skipper Mark Cosgrove told BBC Radio Leicester:

"The umpire made his decision, he changed his mind and brought him back.

"It is just one of those things. You don't see it happen very often."

"We played pretty well all game. We knew there wasn't much in the game so, with the declaration, we had to leave a little bit of a carrot there and they batted really well.

"We always knew there would be a partnership and unfortunately we broke it a little bit too late."