Cricket: Lampitt at full steam

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Leicestershire 70-2 v Worcestershire

WORCESTERSHIRE, who can do little wrong this week, found what cricket there was here yesterday perfectly tailored to their requirements. Only 22 overs were possible, which meant that Phil Newport and Stuart Lampitt were steaming in as enthusiastically at the end as they had been at the start.

They picked up a wicket apiece and passed the bat on a number of other occasions on a pitch which though hard and firm had been under the covers for three days and, every now and then, allowed the ball to move off the seam or bounce awkwardly. Should the sun shine today it could still be a good toss for Leicestershire to lose as they try to get their act together for the Championship run-in; but so far the cards have been stacked against them.

Only early on, when Phil Simmons and Nigel Briers were quick to make the most of odd errors of line and length, was anything resembling fluency possible. Lampitt, whose development with both bat and ball this summer must make him a candidate for the A tour, thought he had Simmons leg- before padding up at 10, but he was a long way outside the off stump and the West Indian was subsequently able to locate a couple of wide half- volleys and put them away.

Similarly, Briers drove Newport for a straight four with what proved to be deceptive elegance before he was caught at slip. Simmons could not hide his dismay when he failed to control a force off the back foot from which he was caught at cover and although Tim Boon and James Whitaker stoically made the best of things, another offer to go off for bad light was simply too good to refuse.