LV County Championship - Division Two
New Road - Day Four
Worcestershire 146 (D H Wigley 4-43, D S Lucas 4-49) & 245-6 (V S Solanki 114) v Northamptonshire 264-7 (J J van der Wath 75 no, L Klusener 64, R A White 58, Kabir Ali 4-105). Worcestershire (7pts) drew with Northamptonshire (9pts)
An excellent century by Vikram Solanki ensured a draw in Worcestershire's rain-hit LV County Championship Division Two match against Northamptonshire on Sunday.
After his side began chasing a 141-run deficit following the first innings, the Pears' skipper cracked two sixes and 16 fours on his way to 114 off 154 balls at New Road.
With 182 overs lost to rain over the first three days, Worcestershire wiped out the deficit to close on 245 for six, thanks in no small way to Solanki's efforts.
Northants began the final day on 264 for seven in reply to the hosts' 146 but paceman Simon Jones rapidly dismissed the tail taking three for eight in 16 balls.
Graeme Hick made 32 for the hosts before he became spinner Jason Brown's 400th first-class wicket.
The result leaves Northants unbeaten in their last six championship matches.
Northamptonshire moved on to 264-7 in the little play that was possible on day three against Worcestershire.
Once again the weather won out at New Road, only 25 overs being bowled on day three to leave the game heading for a tame draw, unless the two captains can come to an agreement.
The visitors added a further 111 runs for the loss of just one wicket, Lance Klusener moving on from his overnight total of 14 to reach 56 not out.
Nicky Boje was unable to contribute anything more than 18 he had made on day two, failing to add a run to his score before being bowled by Kabir Ali.
However, Worcestershire's hopes of quickly wrapping up the innings were dashed by an aggressive innings of 69 not out from Johan van der Wath.
He hit 11 fours and a six to put on 111 with fellow South African Klusener, who has now hit six half centuries in the LV County Championship this year.
Northants managed to squeeze into the lead during just 16 minutes play on a rain-decimated second day of their game at Worcestershire.
The visitors moved on to 153-6 from 38.4 overs after starting the day on 134-6 in reply to a tame score of 146 all out from the hosts.
However, due to a heavy downpour just 26 balls could be bowled and 19 runs added before the players were forced off the field.
Further showers left standing water on the outfield and despite the best efforts of the groundsmen umpires Steve Garratt and Ian Gould had to concede defeat and call it a day just before 5pm.
The bowlers came out on top on the opening day as Northamptonshire failed to snatch the initiative against Worcestershire in the Division Two clash at New Road.
After putting the home side into bat, Northants' seamers reduced the Royals to a meagre 146 all out before finishing the day on a disappointing 134-6.
David Wigley and David Lucas both took four wickets for the Steelbacks - opener Rob White then put Nicky Boje's men in a strong position with a quick-fire 58 before stumps.
Steven Moore (42) and Graeme Hick (46) were the only Worcestershire batsmen to resist against some accurate bowling from Wigley (4-43) and Lucas (4-49) in particular.
Kabir Ali (3-44) and Matt Mason (2-9) pegged Northamptonshire back with fine individual spells in the final session to leave Boje (13 not out) and Lance Klusener (0no) looking to bat the Steelbacks into a strong position on Friday.