Jack Haynes makes Derbyshire pay for dropped catch
Worcestershire batsman Jack Haynes hit his career best score but fell just short of his maiden first class hundred for the second time this month on day one of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at New Road.
Haynes had struck 87 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston before being run out and today batted in impressive fashion to move within three runs of reaching three figures.
But on 97 the England Under-19 player, dropped by keeper Brooke Guest off Dustin Melton on 10, was caught on the boundary off spinner Matt Critchley to deny him the century.
Brett D’Oliveira also produced an excellent knock of 71 as Worcestershire recovered from 62-3 to total 330-7 by the close on an excellent cricket wicket which gave some encouragement to bowlers but also allowed batsmen to play their shots.
Worcestershire gave a first outing of the season to ex Derbyshire player Ross Whiteley while Derbyshire handed a debut to Australian international, batsman Ben McDermott.
Worcestershire captain Joe Leach opted to bat on winning the toss but Daryl Mitchell was lbw to the first delivery of the game from Sam Conners.
Tom Fell and Jake Libby had to contend with a fine opening spell from Conners and both were dropped at first slip by Leus du Plooy when on 12 and four respectively.
Fell failed to profit from his let-off and had not added to his score when he was caught behind off Conners.
Haynes and Libby scored freely in adding 41. But then Haynes drove Melton into the covers and there was a mix-up with Libby who was run out for 26 at the non-striker’s end by Matt Critchley’s direct hit.
Haynes and Whiteley steadied the innings with a patient stand of 53 until the latter on 22 was caught at second slip by Wayne Madsen off Melton.
Haynes completed a 104-ball half century with six boundaries and then pulled Critchley for six.
A delicate cut for four by D’Oliveira off Critchley secured a first batting point in the 61st over and he swept the same bowler for a single to reach a 91-ball half century.
But Haynes missed out on three figures when he pulled a shortish delivery from Critchley and the ball was plucked out of the air by Melton at deep square leg.
He faced 187 balls and hit one six and nine fours and his stand with D’Oliveira was worth 114 in 33 overs.
D’Oliveira was caught at mid-on off Fynn Hudson-Prentice following a mistimed pull.
Ben Cox (49) and Ed Barnard (48 not out) scored freely against the second new ball in adding 88 before the former was caught behind in the final over from Ben Aitchinson.