Veteran Richardson in form of his life

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Worcestershire's evergreen paceman Alan Richardson continued his rich vein of form with a career-best 8-37 against Gloucestershire in the LV= County Championship Division Two match at New Road.

The 38-year-old ripped through the visitors, who were all out for 234 in 70.3 overs, and - at the close - Worcestershire's reply was 65 without loss off 23 overs with skipper Daryl Mitchell unbeaten on 46.

Gloucestershire had no answer to deadly Richardson, who has taken 20 wickets in six days after his first four championship games this season had yielded 6-282.

It was the third eight-wicket haul of his career - and his second against Gloucestershire - which eclipsed his previous best return of 8-46 for Warwickshire versus Sussex at Edgbaston in 2002.

Alan Richardson & Michael Klinger

Alan Richardson delights in his dismissal of Michael Klinger, the first of eight wickets for the veteran seamer on a fine day for Worcestershire

The consistent Richardson quickly carried on where he left off in Worcestershire's previous game when he bagged match figures of 12-63 in a two-day, 10-wicket demolition of Kent at Canterbury.

He soon began to impress when he made it an unproductive return to New Road for Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger, who played in six championship games for Worcestershire when he deputised as the club's overseas player before Phil Hughes' arrival last season.

The Australian scored just five before he pushed forward and was trapped leg before by Richardson, who soon went on to capture Dan Housego during an opening spell that yielded figures of 7-0-12-2.

Chris Dent completed a half-century partnership with Alex Gidman before he pushed forward on the back foot off Richardson and was caught behind by Michael Johnson.

Gidman, who offered a difficult one-handed catch to Neil Pinner at first slip off paceman Gareth Andrew while on 18, progressed to 31 not out at lunch when Gloucestershire, after being put in, were 85 for three off 31 overs.

His innings, however, ended soon after the interval when he was undone by a Richardson delivery which cut in and knocked back his off stump for 41 containing eight fours.

At 99 for four, Gloucestershire needed stability and it was provided as Hamish Marshall and Benny Howell steadily constructed a half-century stand in 14 overs.

Their partnership spanned 20 overs and produced 74 runs before Mitchell's first ball accounted for Howell on 36.

Mitchell then highlighted his fielding abilities in the next over by holding on to an excellent low, one-handed reflex catch at second slip to remove Marshall for 45 off paceman Chris Russell.

Jack Taylor, accompanied by Gareth Roderick, pushed Gloucestershire past the 200-mark in the 61st over by striking four successive fours off Russell and at tea Gloucestershire were 219 for six.

Richardson struck with the third ball after the break by ousting Taylor to complete his third successive five-wicket return and went on to dismiss James Fuller, Craig Miles and Roderick in a spell of 4-8 in 3.3 overs.

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