Australian Test star Nathan Lyon was overshadowed on his County Championship debut by the Worcestershire seamers on a rain-shortened opening day of the Division Two match against Derbyshire at Derby.
The off-spinner bowled overs seven without reward as Joe Leach, Jack Shantry and Josh Tongue each took a wicket with Luis Reece scoring an unbeaten 53 for Derbyshire who closed on 111 for 3
Rain prevented any play until 4pm with Derbyshire going into the game without South African fast bowler Hardus Viljoen who will be out until the end of June with a hip injury.
Derbyshire’s director of cricket Kim Barnett said: “It’s typical of cricket that things come to test you and this is a test of our guys and the resilience of the squad.
“We had a meeting yesterday when it was decided he wasn’t fully fit and I think he knew that. We just want him to do himself justice, it’s no use him going out at 70 per cent fit and not bowling to his standards so we must get him fully fit and healthy to do what he can do when he comes back.”
It was no surprise given the damp, cloudy conditions that Worcestershire chose to bowl and Leach struck with the sixth ball of the game by bringing one back to knock out Ben Slater’s off-stump.
Leach found enough movement to beat the bat numerous times and was unlucky not to pick up two or three wickets during his seven over opening spell from the City end.
Reece and Shiv Thakor needed some luck to survive but they also showed good judgement to add 55 in 21 overs before Jack Shantry made the breakthrough.
Thakor could do nothing with a ball that lifted sharply to take the shoulder of the bat and Shantry was close to having Reece lbw with one that swung back in his next over.
Josh Tongue produced another fine delivery to remove Wayne Madsen who edged a ball that moved away late and was caught behind in the 30th over but Reece and Billy Godleman batted through 10 overs to stumps.