Fighting Draw For Worcestershire Against Australia
The Australians were denied a victory in their final warm-up game ahead of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge by a dogged final-day performance by Worcestershire at New Road.
Set an unlikely 457 for victory, Worcestershire closed on a relatively comfortable 274 for five as three of their top-order batsmen registered timely half-centuries.
They had made a solid start at the end of day three, reaching 64 for one and opener Michael Pardoe moved from 34 not out overnight to score the first half-century of the day, hitting 57 in 119 balls as he and Moeen Ali (35) put on 57 for the second wicket.
He fell when he was caught by Michael Clarke off James Faulkner, who struck again soon after to have Moeen trapped in front and leave the Pears on 135 for three.
That swiftly became 144 for four when Alexei Kervezee was bowled by Ryan Harris for two and although Australia would have at that point been favoured by many to go on and win, two crucial partnerships involving Tom Fell ensured Worcestershire closed out the draw.
In just his fourth first-class match, he helped his captain Daryl Mitchell (54 in 156 balls) add 77 for the fifth wicket and effectively save the game by taking 30 overs out of the game.
Fell made an impressive 62 in 121 balls, including 10 fours before the partnership was finally broken when Mitchell was caught by Faulkner off Harris.
Ben Cox then bucked the trend of the day, and the match situation by then allowed him to do so, by smashing 25 in 24 balls in a swift 53-run stand that wouldn't have been out of place in the Friends Life t20, to which Worcestershire now turn their attentions.
For Australia, this was another good workout with fine centuries for Shane Watson and Michael Clarke the highlights and with their quick bowlers also showing good form form, they are in the position of having that age-old 'problem that you want to have' - who to leave out ahead of Wednesday's Ashes opener?
© Cricket World 2013