WORCESTERSHIRE were indebted to a superb century from Alexei Kervezee in the top-versus-bottom LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The Dutch international held the Worcestershire innings together with 102 out of 237 all out after the visitors had been put into bat on a green-tinged wicket.
It was Kervezee’s second Championship ton of the campaign, after his 110 against Kent at New Road, and followed on from his impressive 80 in last week’s draw at home to Hampshire.
Kervezee reached three figures off 138 balls with 16 fours and shared a fourth wicket stand of 77 with Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Runs were hard to come by for most of the other batsmen under leaden skies before the last three wickets added 70 runs in just 10 overs.
But then Charlie Morris and Jack Shantry struck back for Worcestershire with a wicket apiece as Leicestershire closed on 58-2.
Worcestershire opener Matt Pardoe picked up the first boundary with a leg glance off Nathan Buck.
But, after making eight, Pardoe was run out by former Worcestershire player Richard Jones’ direct throw from cover after being called through for a single by skipper Daryl Mitchell.
Tom Fell (2) was trapped lbw by Buck after trying to work the ball through mid wicket and the prolific Mitchell (26) fell in the same manner.
Kohler-Cadmore was dropp-ed on four at first slip by Ned Eckersley, also off Buck, with the total on 48.
Kervezee produced several flowing cover drives which brought him boundaries, although he was fortunate to edge Charlie Shreck over the slip for four to bring up the 100 in the 38th over.
It was Shreck who broke the stand when Kohler-Cadmore, having made a Championship best 32, drove the ball to Angus Robson at gulley. Kervezee brought up his half-century off 82 balls with nine fours.
Last week’s centurion, Ben Cox, was caught down the legside by Niall O’Brien for five off Jones and then Ross Whiteley (8) and Joe Leach (0) were adjudged lbw to successive balls from Ben Raine.
Jones, on loan from Warwickshire, clipped the top of Shantry’s stump for 11 to leave Worcestershire on 194-8 and Kervezee still 11 short of three figures.
But he secured a batting bonus point and then went to his century in the final over before tea with a deliberate upper cut over the slips off Raine.
Kervezee’s fine knock ended in the first over after the interval when he was caught and bowled by Shreck for 102.
Saeed Ajmal then hit a rapid 27 off 19 deliveries with five fours before he nicked Shreck to O’Brien.
The Worcestershire bowlers made early inroads, with Morris having Robson (12) caught at second slip by Mitchell, before Eckersley (7) was comfortably caught by Cox off Shantry.