GRAEME Hick rapidly began to make up for lost time when Worcestershire's rain-ravaged County Championship match against Glamorgan finally got under way at New Road yesterday.

And if his eye-catching 76 off 80 balls is anything to go by then England can also expect to cash in on his free-scoring start to the new first-class season.

New Road coach Bill Athey said: "He played very well. He looked in good nick and it's a pity he got out.

"He's a very high quality player, people at Worcester have seen that time and time again so it's no surprise."

Captain Hick cracked 13 fours as Worcestershire, after being put in, made 206-7 off 53.1 overs before bad light followed by rain forced an early close.

For the County, however, the time available yesterday enabled them to make a welcome launch to their Championship season after the first two days were washed out.

Athey commented: "It's been nice to get some cricket in, but the conditions aren't ideal. The bowlers had a little bit of trouble out there, but it's good to get going. Everybody said they felt a bit rusty. It will take a couple of knocks for them, but hopefully not too long."

After experiencing their wettest start to their first-class programme for 32 years, Worcestershire relished the opportunity to start on time.

Paul Pollard, however, faced just three balls before he was dismissed for a 'duck' to prompt Hick's arrivals at the crease.

Elliott Wilson (16) and Vikram Solanki (1) soon followed before Reuben Spiring (26) joined on-song Hick in a partnership which yielded 68 in 14 overs.

Hick finally fell to a fine catch behind by Adrian Shaw off paceman Darren Thomas before David Leatherdale and Steve Rhodes joined forces to top up the County's tally with a stand worth 55 in 14 overs.

Leatherdale made 42, including seven fours off 58 balls, before Lampitt followed for five with Steve Rhodes, accompanied by Richard Illingworth, still there at the close on 30 not out.