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Leicestershire indebted to Eckersley ton

Ned Eckersley hit his third LV= County Championship century of the season as Leicestershire recovered from a shaky start to post 270 for seven on day one against Worcestershire at Grace Road.

Rooted to the bottom of the Division Two table without a win, Leicestershire have relied heavily on Eckersley throughout a disappointing season and would have been in a poor way without his 106 off 249 balls.

The next highest scorer was captain Josh Cobb, who contributed 44 to a fifth-wicket stand of 92. A brisk unbeaten 22 from Ollie Freckingham in the final few overs helped the home side earn a second batting point.

After winning the toss Leicestershire found it tough against some tidy seam bowling from Alan Richardson, Joe Leach and Jack Shantry.

Greg Smith was caught at slip off Richardson for one in the fifth over of the morning, while Niall O'Brien led a charmed life making 31 off 59 balls.

The Irishman played and missed outside off stump on several occasions, survived two big lbw shouts and edged one delivery from Leach between wicketkeeper Michael Johnson and first slip Moeen Ali, who both left the catch to each other.

Leach finally gained his revenge when he had O'Brien caught at second slip by Daryl Mitchell.

Eckersley survived a sharp chance to gully when he had made 16 and was also dropped by Moeen Ali on 29.

When Shiv Thakor and Tom Wells fell lbw to Shaaiq Choudhry and Shantry respectively, Leicestershire were in trouble at 94 for four.

Yet the Eckersley-Cobb partnership turned things round, with 24-year-old Eckersley reaching his half century and 1,000 championship runs for the season as well.

He looks like being the only Leicestershire player to do so. O'Brien is the club`s next highest scorer with 595.

Moeen got Worcestershire back on track by having Cobb caught at mid-off.

Eckersley went on to reach three figures from 222 balls with 14 fours but was sixth out at 226 when playing on against Richardson with the new ball.

James Sykes chipped a catch to short midwicket three overs later but Ben Raine and Freckingham took Leicestershire to a second batting point and were still together at the close.

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