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LV= County Championship: Worcestershire make good progress at New Road

Thilan Samaraweera: Reached the close on day with 52 to his name

Matt Pardoe: Patiently compiled his first half-century in 20 innings

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Matt Pardoe and Thilan Samaraweera hit half-centuries to help Worcestershire reach 198-3 on a weather-hit opening day against Leicestershire at New Road.

Pardoe shared in partnerships of 78 with Moeen Ali and 69 with Samaraweera as Worcestershire finally got the chance to play at home after on-going building work at their ground.

The left-hander batted for just over four hours to make 59, his first half-century in the LV= County Championship for the first time in 20 innings.

Leicestershire's cause wasn't helped by a number of key absences to their bowling attack, including former captain Matthew Hoggard.

Early breakthrough

Ollie Freckingham did impress with the new ball, removing home skipper Daryl Mitchell for eight courtesy of a catch by Michael Thornely.

However Pardoe and Ali - who recently signed a five-year contract extension - progressed nicely and it came as something of a surprise when the latter misplaced a square drive off the bowling of Rob Taylor.

Pardoe was bowled by Jigar Naik with the score on 163 but Samaraweera continued through, reaching 52 not out by the time a second stoppage for rain ended the day just 13 balls after tea.

The ex-Sri Lanka international did have a life when he stood his ground after appearing he had turned a catch to short leg off left-arm seamer Taylor. He was given not out by the umpires after the ball came off his helmet, allowing him to go on and make his second 50 for the county.