New Road (first day of four): Worcestershire (450-8 dec.) v Derbyshire (27-0)
Graeme Hick scored 149, his 136th first-class century as Worcestershire, Division Two leaders, put Derbyshire to the sword.
Hick’s highest first-class score for two years, his 106th century for Worcestershire, contained two sixes and 18 fours off 151 balls. He was joined in the run-feast by Ben Smith (76), Steve Davies (71) and Vikram Solanki (54). Worcestershire, without leading wicket-taker Kabir Ali due to a stiff back, ran riot after being sent in.
After Daryl Mitchell fell for nought, Worcestershire’s morning blitz of 157 for three included 118 runs in boundaries.
Stephen Moore pulled Jon Clare to mid-wicket where Dan Birch held on to a smart overhead catch after putting on 60 in 11 overs with Solanki, who became the first batsman in the country to register 1,000 championship runs this season when he reached 46. Eight runs later, however, Clare had him caught and bowled chance. The captain cracked 12 fours off 52 balls.
Hick and Smith then tormented Derbyshire. Hick’s first championship half-century in 12 innings preceded an escape on 74 when Birch missed an easy chance at mid-wicket off Clare.
Smith’s half-century arrived off 74 balls, with eight fours, and, after reaching their century stand in 14 overs, the pair reached the 150 mark eight overs later. When Smith chopped on to Graham Wagg after striking 11 fours off 103 balls they had put on 184 in 27 overs.
Hick plundered two sixes and 13 fours in his second championship century this summer. After offering a difficult chance to Charl Langeveldt running back from mid-off while on 108, he was undefeated on 136 at tea along with Davies, who had scored 44 not out in another century stand.
They stretched that to 123 in 24 overs before Hick was caught at long-off off Clarke who later removed Davies, who struck nine fours off 101 balls.
* Worcestershire have allowed Stephen Moore a little more time to decide on his future.
While Moore has confirmed he would like to remain a professional cricketer - the lure of a career in business was one alternative - he has yet to decide where that future lies.
“We have given him a but longer,” Mark Newton, the club’s chief executive, said. “It’s a matter of days, not weeks, though I’m not sure it will happen this week. He keeps saying he loves playing his cricket here, so we’re still hopeful. But it’s not just about cricket or salary. It may be that he is keen to pursue his other career options at the same time so location may be an issue. He is also keen to play international cricket and wants to play somewhere that gives him the best opportunity to do that."