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Worcs on top as Kohler-Cadmore falls short

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Teenage prospect Tom Kohler-Cadmore agonisingly missed a maiden first-class century as Division Two leaders Worcestershire moved closer to a second LV= County Championship win over Leicestershire in a month.

The talented 19-year-old was bowled by Dan Redfern for 99 after helping his side to a declaration at 416 for eight, which set the bottom-of-the-table visitors a daunting target of 458 at New Road.

Greg Smith opened up with eight fours in an unbeaten 38 but a 27th championship game without a victory is the most likely outcome, with Angus Robson and Ned Eckersley already out to the seamers as they reached 56 for two in 21 overs by the close.

Kohler-Cadmore shared in century stands with Alexei Kervezee (75) and big-hitting Joe Leach (74) as Worcestershire escaped from a potentially vulnerable situation when overnight batsman Richard Oliver played on to Nathan Buck for 37 from the fifth ball of the day.

At 50 for three - all the wickets having fallen to the impressive Buck at a personal cost of 23 - the promotion contenders were only 91 ahead and a batsman short after preferring a bowler as deputy for England all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Another wicket could have fallen when Kervezee, on 23, edged Rob Taylor between wicketkeeper and first slip, with his side only 124 in front, which could have opened the door to Leicestershire. Instead the game was wrenched away from them as they conceded 300 runs in two sessions.

Kervezee initially led the counter-attack, seeing off the threat of Buck with three boundaries from four balls, and Kohler-Cadmore quickly imposed himself with his third half-century in five innings - a sequence which began at Grace Road last month.

Kohler-Cadmore saw Worcestershire through a tricky spell against Charlie Shreck after lunch as Kervezee mishit to mid-off after a stand of 131 and Ben Cox was lbw to one that kept a shade low.

Yet once more Leicestershire were pushed back as Leach raced to a 43-ball half-century and put on exactly 100 for the sixth wicket until Kohler-Cadmore was denied a career milestone after going to 99 with successive sixes off Redfern.

James Sykes then dismissed Leach and Shaaiq Choudhry – the latter for 25 – in successive overs but there was more flak to come.

Saeed Ajmal thrashed an unbeaten 53 – his fourth career half-century taking 42 balls – in an unbroken partnership of 80 with Jack Shantry, who made an unbeaten 30.

Kohler-Cadmore was phlegmatic after missing out on three figures.

"Just disappointed really," he said. "I'll take that every time I walk out to bat. It's one run at the end of the day, isn't it?

"It would have been nice to get there but I didn't. Hopefully I'll get there in the near future. I thought Alexei Kervezee batted brilliantly today and also Joe Leach at the end."

Ben Smith, Leicestershire's senior coach, said: "By the time Worcestershire had got a lead of 150 to 200 they could be a bit more aggressive. We were just trying to get some hold on the game. Unfortunately this just didn't happen. Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a good player. I think he will be a fine player in the future.

"The challenge for tomorrow will be how well we play Saeed Ajaml. The team have got an opportunity to be proud of potentially getting a draw. If we do that we will have to bat for a full day against the world's best spin bowler and a seam attack that can back that up."

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