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Daryl Mitchell catches eye with opening century
6:44pm Wednesday 9th April 2014 in Sport
WORCESTERSHIRE captain Daryl Mitchell lit up the final day of the LV= County Championship clash against Hampshire with a superb century before the teams settled for an expected draw at the Ageas Bowl.
Mitchell notched the first ton of the new Division Two season as he scored a magnificent 172 not out at the top of the order, helping his side pick up four batting bonus points before declaring on 350-7.
That gave the visitors a first-innings lead of 87 over Hampshire but, with less than a session to go in a match badly hit by rain, a draw was always the most likely outcome.
Worcestershire did make an early breakthrough to briefly make things interesting as Mitchell caught former England opener Michael Carberry for six off Moeen Ali as Hampshire slipped to 10-1.
However, home skipper Jimmy Adams (10 not out) and Liam Dawson (11no) ensured Hampshire suffered no further setbacks as they reached 27-1 off 17 overs when the two teams shook hands on a draw.
Worcestershire, who finished four points behind fourth-placed Hampshire in Division Two last season, took 12 points from the match and sit second while the hosts claimed nine.
A winner always looked unlikely with rain washing out all but 8.5 overs on the opening two days in Southampton, but Mitchell made the most of the time available to record his 15th first-class century.
Starting the final day on 44 in a total of 103-1, Mitchell progressed his second-wicket stand with Moeen to 153 before the England batsman fell for 69, bowled by Dawson.
Slow left-armer Dawson also accounted for teenage newcomer Tom Kohler-Cadmore (2) on his first-class debut as Worcestershire reached lunch on 213-3 with Mitchell unbeaten on 99.
The 30-year-old did not let the break affect him though and he was soon celebrating three figures.
Hampshire continued to make regular breakthroughs at the other end, Matt Coles finishing with 3-58 off 28 overs, but Mitchell remained unbowed as he helped Worcestershire reach 350.
The right-hander struck 23 fours in his 306-ball knock before calling time on his side's innings having contributed almost half their total.
There was time for Carberry to suffer his second failure of the match as he followed his first-innings duck with just six runs.