Captain Brett D’Oliveira inspires Worcestershire fightback against Glamorgan
Club captain Brett D’Oliveira helped inspire a Worcestershire fightback on his return from injury for the LV= Insurance County Championship top-three encounter with Glamorgan at New Road.
D’Oliveira, who was sidelined for three weeks with a dislocated shoulder, came to the wicket with Worcestershire 103 for five after they had been put in to bat with Jamie McIlroy picking up three wickets.
A mixture of probing and accurate bowling – but also some undistinguished shots – had put Glamorgan in command until D’Oliveira redressed the balance of the day.
He top-scored with 74 not out and was given excellent support by Logan Van Beek (53) and on-loan Essex all-rounder Ben Allison (37) during stands of 101 and 64.
D’Oliveira has a liking for playing against Glamorgan having scored three Championship centuries, including a career-best 202 not out and his best bowling figures of seven for 92.
Earlier, Gareth Roderick and Adam Hose (both finished with 43) had led a partial recovery in challenging conditions during the morning session from 33 for three.
Worcestershire were able to secure two batting bonus points before being dismissed shortly before the close and then Glamorgan openers Ed Byrom and nightwatchman James Harris survived two overs.
A see-saw day ended with honours even with McIlroy returning three for 41 and Harris three for 74.
Of concern to Glamorgan will be what appeared to be a hamstring injury suffered by Timm Van Der Gugten during his 17th over which had to be completed by Harris.
Allison was brought in after injuries to Matthew Waite and Adam Finch led to a search for a temporary replacement.
Spinner Ben Kellaway made his first class bow for Glamorgan, who went into the game in third place and 14 points adrift of their opponents.
Glamorgan skipper Kiran Carlson opted to bowl first and the new ball pair of Van Der Gugten and McIlroy quickly made inroads in a pitch offering enough assistance to encourage the seamers.
Jake Libby has experienced a prolific summer with more than 900 Championship runs but the opener tried to force Van Der Gugten off the back foot and was caught behind.
Azhar Ali then gave his wicket away when he clipped McIlroy straight to mid wicket.
Jack Haynes, playing his first senior game for six weeks after injury, was undone by a fine delivery from Harris which nipped away and was caught behind.
Roderick passed 600 runs for the summer but survived a low chance to second slip on 23 off former Worcestershire Academy player Zain Ul Hassan.
He battled away in typically-resolute fashion through to lunch with Hose, who had returned to the side after his spell with Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.
But there was another clatter of wickets on the resumption.
Roderick added only a single before he fell lbw after pushing forward to Harris in the third over of the afternoon session.
Kashif Ali replicated Azhar Ali in picking out mid wicket off McIlroy.
Hose had batted impressively in mixing defence with aggression but on 43 tried to cut a widish delivery from McIlroy and only found first slip.
D’Oliveira and Van Beek joined forces and redressed the balance during an aggressive stand.
The latter had attracted headlines in June for smashing 30 for the Netherlands off a Super Over from his close friend Jason Holder in a ICC World Cup qualifier against the West Indies in Zimbabwe.
Van Beek, who also played for Worcestershire in the Metro Bank One Day Cup, mixed some powerful hitting with watchful defence, while D’Oliveira batted with typical fluency.
A cover drive off Kellaway for his 10th four enabled Van Beek to complete a 73-ball half-century and also earn Worcestershire their first batting point.
The partnership was broken shortly after tea when Van Beek attempted to drive Ul Hassan and was caught and bowled low down.
But D’Oliveira completed his own fifty from 87 deliveries – also at Kellaway’s expense with a late cut for his seventh boundary – and Allison gave him good support.
They added 64 in 18 overs before Allison aimed a drive at Harris and was bowled via the inside edge.
Ul Hassan then wrapped up the innings by dismissing Joe Leach and Dillon Pennington both cheaply to leave D’Oliveira undefeated with his 139-ball innings containing eight boundaries.
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