Cork consigns Worcs to another loss
Dominic Cork waved Worcestershire off to Division Two of the LV= County Championship by setting up a Hampshire victory inside three days at New Road.
After an overnight spell of 3-1 in Worcestershire’s struggle to 102 for four after following on, the 38-year-old former England bowler claimed two more wickets in the home side’s eventual dismissal for 227.
Cork’s full return of 5-14 in 14 overs - his best for Hampshire - helped his side out of the remaining relegation spot with a crushing win by 10 wickets.
Two of their three victories have come against the bottom club, who were mathematically relegated when they failed to take a batting point in this game, and the season’s double has opened a gap, at least temporarily, over closest rivals Sussex and Yorkshire.
After his distinguished service with Derbyshire and Lancashire, Cork marked his championship debut for Hampshire with match figures of 6-37 when Worcestershire lost at the Rose Bowl in the opening match in April.
An impressive follow-up in the return fixture completed remarkable overall figures of 50-17-81-12 from two meetings with a side who have consistently been outclassed in their third appearance in Division One.
Dutch batsman Alexei Kervezee managed to delay their 10th defeat in 14 games with a spirited and entertaining 54 off 54 deliveries but the result had been signposted when Cork dismissed the overnight pair at negligible cost.
Steve Davies failed to add to his 31 before he was caught by Jimmy Adams at first slip when playing back defensively and Moeen Ali (37) went in much the same way, though his edge went a little wider to Liam Dawson at second slip.
Kervezee, on his 20th birthday, and Richard Jones, with a career-best 36, would not give up easily. With Cork taking a rest, they profited from Hampshire’s attacking fields and put on 70 in only 13 overs.
Having hit nine fours, Kervezee reached his fifty by driving Imran Tahir over long off for six but two balls later he tried to pull the leg-spinner and instead sliced the easiest of catches to Dimitri Mascarenhas at mid-off.
Cork was back in action with a slip catch when Jones fell to Tahir and, with Worcestershire still one run behind, Matt Mason top-edged David Griffiths to wicketkeeper Nic Pothas.
Chris Whelan (21 not out) cleared the deficit but Hampshire needed only four to win when Tahir dismissed last man Jack Shantry for a match haul of 7-62.