Klinger ends on a high
A farewell half-century by Michael Klinger helped Worcestershire to a draw after rain on the final morning spoiled a hard-fought match with Sussex in the LV= County Championship at New Road.
The visitors tried to make up for the lost time with a century for Ed Joyce and a knock of 98 by Chris Nash before a declaration at 258 for four left Worcestershire chasing a target of 315 in 60 overs.
This was beyond their range in cold and miserable conditions but they made sure of their fourth draw in six games, reaching 174 for four before time was called at 5.50pm with a dozen overs still to be bowled.
In his six-week commission, Klinger has always looked a compact, well-organised opener, and although this was only his second time past 50 in the championship, most of his innings were played on bowler-friendly pitches.
The value of his last appearance could not be underestimated as Worcestershire edged towards safety after Daryl Mitchell had fallen lbw to Naveed Arif Gondal’s second delivery in the 10th over of the innings.
Ably supported by Vikram Solanki in a partnership of 76, Klinger made 67 with eight fours and a six but his departure was unfortunate with the thinnest of deflections on the leg side in attempting to hook James Anyon.
While Klinger is set to return to England in July for a tour with Australia A, his compatriot Phil Hughes will begin his stint in Worcester in the home Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Middlesex on May 27.
Worcestershire wobbled for a while when Monty Panesar took two wickets in six balls and James Cameron retired after a short ball from Anyon struck him on the side of his face, but Solanki, unbeaten on 44, and Gareth Andrew, with 27 not out, saw them to safety.
When the rain relented for a start after an early lunch, Sussex lost four wickets in adding 115 in 10 overs after their openers had resumed an overnight partnership of 143.
With a damp run-up at the New Road end causing problems, Andrew conceded 29 in two overs, although he should have removed Nash on 78 when David Lucas dropped a sitter at long-on.
With 12 fours and three sixes, Nash was on the brink of a celebratory century in his 100th first-class match when he was lbw, trying to work Moeen Ali’s first ball of the day off his legs.
Joyce safely reached his hundred with his second six – he also hit 11 fours.