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Worcestershire win again

Worcestershire completed back-to-back 10-wicket victories in Division Two of the LV= County Championship when polishing off a defiant Gloucestershire at New Road.

The home side dismissed their local rivals for 254 and quickly cleared off a target of 32 but only after they had been kept waiting by a career-best 79 not out by newcomer Gareth Roderick.

Called into the side as deputy for Cameron Herring, the 21-year-old wicketkeeper underlined his capability as a batsman by holding up Worcestershire for more than four hours on his championship debut.

A British passport holder, the South African was signed on a two-year deal after breaking the West of England League record with 1,231 runs for Cheltenham last season.

With Roderick calm and assured, facing 169 balls and picking off just eight boundaries, James Fuller, a New Zealand Under-19 international, provided like-minded support.

They put on 99 in 41 overs before Fuller got himself out, pulling a short ball from Gareth Andrew to mid-on, but teenager Craig Miles then stayed with Roderick for 17 overs in another stand that tested Worcestershire's patience.

Chris Russell, the most threatening bowler on the day, eventually came to their rescue with two wickets in three balls. Neil Pinner held a low catch from Miles and a straight delivery was too sharp for last man Liam Norwell.

Worcestershire, relegated from Division One last September, have transformed their season by taking 42 points in the space of eight days.

Bottom of the table before travelling to Kent last week, they are now among the promotion-chasing pack on the back of successive 12-wicket match returns by 38-year-old Alan Richardson.

Having taken 12-63 at Canterbury, the veteran seamer wrecked Gloucestershire's batting with a career-best 8-37 on the opening day and followed up with 4-70 in the visitors’ slide to another defeat on their unlucky ground.

Since their last win at New Road since 1986, they have lost 11 times in 18 visits, with six games drawn and another abandoned without a ball being bowled.

When Gloucestershire began the last day at 87 for five, Richardson added one more wicket - trapping Benny Howell leg-before - and a quick wrap-up seemed likely when Andrew bowled Jack Taylor.

But the talented Roderick had other ideas and Worcestershire were unexpectedly taken beyond tea before their openers, Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Pardoe, confirmed victory in only 4.1 overs.

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