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Worcestershire build on Moeen 250

Moeen Ali’s first double-century for Worcestershire heaped pressure on Glamorgan in the LV= County Championship Division Two match at New Road.

The 26-year-old left-hander’s career-best 250, accumulated from 367 balls in a little over eight hours, put his side in the happy position of declaring at 505 for seven after losing the toss.

Glamorgan immediately lurched into trouble, losing two wickets in 20 overs prior to tea and three more in the final session before closing the second day on 164 for five, still 192 short of making the hosts bat again.

Worcestershire always felt they could get something out the pitch and their seam trio of Alan Richardson, Chris Russell and Jack Shantry successfully put the theory into practice.

Recalled wicketkeeper Ben Cox held two catches, Ben Wright and Marcus North were bowled after making some headway and Matt Pardoe sprawled forward at short midwicket to take a bat-pad chance from Stewart Walters.

It was only in the last hour that Jim Allenby, unbeaten with 56 from 72 balls, checked their momentum with support from captain Mark Wallace.

Earlier, a shoal of statistics gathered around Moeen as he added 95 to his overnight score of 155 before Dean Cosker claimed his wicket when a tired-looking shot found Michael Reed a few yards inside the boundary rope at long-off.

By then Moeen had leapfrogged all of his rivals in the race to be first to 1,000 first-class runs this season. Now on 900, he is 11 ahead of England’s Joe Root.

A slow surface was made for a batsman intent on playing a long innings.

His performance was not entirely flawless, with several shots skewing off the outside edge to the third-man area, but the bottom line could not be questioned when he departed with 26 fours and two sixes to his name.

Having posted Worcestershire’s first double-hundred in the championship for nearly four years, he went on to match Graeme Hick, Glenn Turner and Don Kenyon in becoming the fourth player to make 250 or more for the county on the New Road ground.

Nothing much went right for Glamorgan’s bowlers when Worcestershire resumed with 322 for three on the board.

First they were held up for more than hour by Shantry, the nightwatchman making 32 out of 70, and even when three wickets tumbled in a dozen balls, they were knocked by a stand of 101 between Moeen and Cox.

Cosker emerged with most credit. After conceding 22 runs in his first two overs on Thursday, he straightened out his figures with a return of 4-68.

As well as dismissing the two top-scorers, Pardoe and Moeen, the left-arm spinner took wickets in successive overs, holding a return catch from Shantry and trapping championship debutant Tom Fell for a first-ball duck.

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