Worcestershire v Leicestershire: Pears beat Foxes to go top of Division Two

Joe Clarke
Joe Clarke's 35 took his Championship run tally for the season to 850
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, New Road (day four):
Leicestershire 404 & 220: Chappell 66, Hill 60; Ashwin 3-94
Worcestershire 493: Parkinson 8-148 & 132-4: Parkinson 2-37
Worcestershire (24 pts) beat Leicestershire (6 pts) by six wickets

Worcestershire took a big step nearer County Championship promotion with a six-wicket win over Leicestershire at New Road to go top of Division Two.

After resuming on 111-7 with a 22-run overnight lead, the Foxes fought hard with a 103-run eighth-wicket stand from Zak Chappell (66) and Lewis Hill (60).

But Pat Brown's double breakthrough was followed by a wicket for Ravichandran Ashwin as the Foxes totalled 220.

Joe Clarke then made 35 as the hosts overcame a wobble or two to make 132-4.

Steve Rhodes' side are nine points ahead of Nottinghamshire, who visit third-placed Northamptonshire next week.

Northants trail Worcestershire by 38 points and must win their final two games to stand any chance of winning promotion.

Callum Parkinson
Callum Parkinson ended with a career-best match haul of 10-185

An eighth win in 13 games this season for the home side was especially impressive after Leicestershire scored 404 in their first innings.

Although the Foxes remain bottom after an eighth defeat of the campaign, they can take solace from the performance of young spinner Callum Parkinson.

Following his eight-wicket first-innings haul, the 20-year-old twin brother of Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson added 2-37 in Worcestershire's second innings to complete his first 10-wicket match haul.

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

"I try not to get too carried away. Some of the other teams have still got two games to go but we're really delighted with that.

"We would have liked to have batted first. They then got 400 so to get nearly 500 is an amazing effort from our boys.

"The new ball spell on Thursday (when Leicestershire were reduced to 10-4) was a pivotal moment.

"To pick up maximum points with 10 Academy players, to be top of the league with predominantly home grown talent, we are very proud of that fact."

Leicestershire skipper Mark Cosgrove told BBC Radio Leicester:

"Thursday afternoon wasn't a great session. It put us well behind the game but we showed a lot of fight today. Hopefully we can take that and a bit of momentum into the last game at home.

"It was good for me to complete 1,000 runs during the game but you'd rather take two or three hundred runs off that and win a few more games.

"Parky was fantastic. He was the best spinner in this game by a long shot to be fair. Everyone's attention was on Ashwin but Parky outshone him quite easily.

"He did the basics, he just threw it up there and turned it. He's got a massive future in front of him. Hopefully we can get the pitch to turn at Grace Road."

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