LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
NEW ROAD (second day): Worcestershire 457-8 dec. v Glamorgan 136-4
Worcestershire newcomer Imran Arif exploded out of the Bradford League to take three wickets in 11 balls and put Glamorgan in trouble in the LV County Championship match at New Road yesterday.
The 24-year-old Kashmir-born fast bowler succeeded in outgunning England candidate Simon Jones as Glamorgan, needing 308 to avoid the follow on, trailed by 321 on closing the second day at 136 for four.
Jones broke an opening stand of 42 by dismissing Richard Grant (27) with a legside catch behind the wicket but the spotlight turned on Arif when he revealed genuine pace in a spell of three for 22 in six overs.
Although he has a British wife and a UK work permit, he has a Pakistan passport and came into the Worcestershire team in the unusual position of making a first-class debut on an overseas registration.
Taking a wicket with his 13th delivery - David Hemp flashing a catch to wicketkeeper Steven Davies - he then stuck twice in his fourth over. Davies held a chance from Michael Powell at the second attempt and Jamie Dalrymple was leg-before to the second ball he faced.
Opener Gareth Rees survived the setbacks to reach an unbeaten 59 and Mark Wallace (37 not out) played positively in their unbroken stand of 80.
The day had started with Worcestershire piling up the runs as Davies and Ben Smith compiled Worcestershire’s biggest Championship partnership of the summer. The fifth-wicket pair put on 143 in building up to a declaration at 457 for eight.
The home side were already in a strong position when resuming at 307 for four and their overnight pair were in no mood to surrender the advantage. Some of Smith’s driving past extra cover was top class and Davies pursued his strengths outside the off stump in his best innings of the summer.
David Harrison and Jason Gillespie bowled economically but without much luck, and it was teenager James Harris who removed both batsmen in successive overs from the New Road end.
Smith, who struck 12 fours from 207 balls, was only one short of his first century in two years when he looped a lifter to first slip and Rees held a stunning catch at point to remove Davies for 83. The left-hander collected 10 boundaries from 136 deliveries.
With Gareth Batty quietly reaching 18 not out, Worcestershire’s lower order scored briskly while losing a couple of wickets to Dean Cosker. Kabir Ali (12) was well caught on the legside by Mark Wallace and Jones clattered a rapid 25 before Jamie Dalrymple completed a difficult overhead catch at deep square leg.
Jones targeted the legside when hitting Cosker for three of his four sixes, one of these soaring over the chestnut trees at mid-wicket and another clearing the Ladies Pavilion at square leg.
Arif strikes on debut after Smith finishes one short of ton
LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP NEW ROAD (second day): Worcestershire 457-8 dec. v Glamorgan 136-4
LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP