Balcombe in the wickets on his Championship return for Hampshire

David Balcombe

David Balcombe

First published in Sport

Alexei Kervezee's unbeaten 65 underpinned Worcestershire's innings as they reached 175 for four on a curtailed first day against Hampshire in the LV= County Championship.

Wickets fell at regular intervals during the two sessions that were completed, with David Balcombe taking two for 26 on his return to the first XI.

The third session lasted just a solitary over before bad light and rain ended play.

Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell, who began the match averaging over 100 in Division Two this season, chose to bat upon winning the toss and hit the second ball of the match for four.

Opening partner Matt Pardoe got off the mark with a three and hit Matt Coles for four in the eighth over, each batsman adding a further boundary as 26 came from the first 10 overs.

But Mitchell was dismissed for 12, caught behind off Balcombe for his second failure in as many days having scored only one in yesterday's dramatic NatWest T20 Blast win over Kent.

Pardoe and Tom Fell put on 29 in 10 overs before the former was trapped lbw by James Tomlinson for a patient 21.

Kervezee was off the mark with a four and had scored 14 by lunch, with Fell on 15 as the interval came at 85 for two.

A short rain delay followed soon afterwards and Fell was dismissed shortly after the resumption for 19, well caught by James Vince after edging Balcombe into the slips.

Ross Whiteley, one of the heroes of that 20-over success, lifted Danny Briggs for six but was dismissed lbw by Coles for 18 to leave the Pears 139 for four.

Kervezee reached 50 with a four off Briggs, his sixth from the 97th delivery he faced, and he too cleared the ropes off the young spinner shortly afterwards.

He was 63 not out at tea, with Worcestershire 172 for four, and bad light brought the players off the field one over after the resumption.

Rain then set in and after an inspection at 5.30pm, play was abandoned for the day.

Hampshire have rested leading wicket-taker Kyle Abbott and instead handed a Championship debut to Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

Maxwell only managed two overs of his off spin, conceding eight runs.

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