WORCESTERSHIRE enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2024 Division One County Championship season on the back of a maiden first-class century for Kashif Ali.

After being put into bat by the hosts, Ali and Gareth Roderick put on a century stand for the second wicket at Edgbaston to build a sizeable first innings score.

In the top-flight for the first time since 2018, Worcestershire openers Jake Libby and Roderick settled in nicely on an overcast morning and took the score to 77 without loss after 14 overs when Libby was caught in the deep.

Big-hitting Kashif came to the crease and showed his intent from the off and together with Roderick, the pair picked up where the opening partnership left-off and by the time lunch arrived, The Pears were sitting pretty on 123/1 (Kashif 33*, Roderick 46*).

Both reached their half-centuries in the afternoon session and the century partnership was brought up in the 52nd over of the day.

Warwickshire's Will Rhodes managed to break the partnership shortly before the first rain delay of the season as Roderick edged one to first slip for 68.

But the rain did not last long and Kashif continued to plod along, whilst Rob Jones came to the crease and provided 26 runs off 65 deliveries before being caught.

Former Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard then struck to remove Adam Hose for just two runs as the Warwickshire attack looked to try and make inroads.

But there would be no stopping Kashif reaching three figures and he did so in style with a trademark six over long-on to cap a wonderful innings and record his maiden first-class century.