Rhodes leads way for Worcestershire

Cricket Round-up
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The Independent Online
Steve Rhodes, Worcestershire's stand-in captain, led a fightback against the championship leaders, Gloucestershire, at Bristol yesterday after his decision to bat had initially backfired.

Rhodes, deputising for the ill Tom Moody, opted for first use of the pitch on a cloudy day in murky light. The ball also swung and Gloucestershire, with the help of a couple of reckless shots, took full advantage to reduce Worcestershire to 65 for 6 by the first over after lunch.

Rhodes then entered the fray, going on to make 78 before being bowled off the final ball of the day from Gloucestershire captain Mark Alleyne, with Worcestershire on 243 for 8.

Dean Headley's hopes of a Test call were ruined by injury on a rainy day at Old Trafford where his Kent colleagues stumbled belatedly to 151 for 5 against Lancashire. Headley, 27, was aiming to force his way into the selectors' plans for the second Ashes encounter at Lord's next week, but had to withdraw from the match with lower back problems.

Kent may yet miss Headley's batting qualities, after losing half their team by the close of a shortened day. Four-and-a-quarter hours were lost, before Kent lost the toss and were reduced to 92 for 4 on a green wicket.

Vince Clarke unluckily missed out on a maiden century after leading Derbyshire to a fragile total of 200. The 25-year-old Anglo-Australian went in to bat at 16 for 4 and was last out for 99 when he was caught attempting to cut the slow left-armer Ashley Giles. Warwickshire reached four without loss in four overs before the close.