Solanki leads County's reply at Essex

First published in WCCC

WORCESTERSHIRE ended the first day of their two-day friendly with Essex at the Ford County Ground on 112-2, still trailing the hosts by 166 runs on first innings.

Essex had declared on 278-5 at the end of 67 overs, during which time Billy Godleman (112) and James Foster (89) proved the pick of the home batsmen.

The pair posted 137 for the fourth wicket in 28 overs, before Godleman edged a ball from medium-pacer Joe Leach and was well caught by Vikram Solanki at slip diving to his left. Foster followed 26 runs later when he swept Shaaiq Choudhry into the hands of Matt Pardoe shortly before the conclusion of the innings.

Worcestershire were given the final session to begin their response against new signing Charl Willoughby and Maurice Chambers and it was the latter who struck the first blow when he bowled Daryl Mitchell for seven.

Solanki played with typical freedom, capitalising on the short boundary to post 11 boundaries in his 63-ball half-century to finish the day on 56 not out.

Pardoe and Solanki put on 103 in 24 overs, but the former was stumped by Foster for 34 off Tim Phillips in the final over of the day.

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