Cricket: Praiseworthy Parsons

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Leicestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .283

Worcestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205-4

THE GOING remained mostly tough for batsmen here yesterday. The sun failed to shine, as forecast, the bounce tended to be variable from time to time, and grudging seam bowling turned it into one of those days when everyone made a few but no one made many.

Leicestershire, though relieved to have dug themselves out from 166 for 6 to give their bowlers something to defend, would have felt frustrated that none of their middle order, having worked hard to get into the thirties, could progress further.

Perhaps that was because this could be one of those pitches on which no batsman ever feels established. Certainly, Stuart Lampitt and Phil Newport, hitting it hard, gave little away. Neal Radford, finding some swing, backed them up well and as a result, little mishaps kept occurring.

James Whitaker, trying to continue a run of good scores, was undone on the back foot by a ball that came back, Vince Wells found a prodigious forward defensive stroke could not stifle Gavin Haynes's movement, Paul Nixon shuffled into a palpable lbw verdict, and Darren Maddy's brief but promising debut innings ended when he fell to a rare pad-before-bat leg-before decision.

All this left Adrian Pierson, with his effective long reach, and the aggressive Gordon Parsons to pull things round, which they did with some vigorous and selective strokes, though sometimes against bowling which faltered as the ball grew old. Even so, their worthy efforts soon looked like being dissipated when David Millns and Alan Mullally sprayed the new ball around wastefully.

Despite a bonus when Phil Weston was caught behind, they could not prevent Worcestershire ticking over at around four an over. This was mostly because Graeme Hick took on Millns in his new- found positive vein before the more accurate Parsons forced him into error and bowled him off an inside edge.