Updated: 28/07/2012 17:40 | By pa.press.net

Russell keeps South Africa in check



AB de Villiers top-scored for the South Africans with 80

AB de Villiers top-scored for the South Africans with 80

Worcestershire paceman Chris Russell celebrated his first senior appearance for two years by dismissing three leading South African batsmen on the opening day of the tour game at New Road.

Russell made the most of his chance by removing openers Jacques Rudolph (7) and Alviro Petersen (10) during his first eight over spell, which yielded the impressive figures of two for 21.

The 23-year-old, who made two List A appearances in 2010, then returned to the attack to bowl number five batsman Albie Morkel for 50.

Petersen, in particular, had been looking for runs in this two-day match after his duck in the first Investec Test against England. However, Rudolph was also keen for time in the middle after the batting heroics of skipper Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis against Andrew Strauss' side at The Oval.

The same criteria applied to JP Duminy although he only made five before being trapped lbw by Richard Jones. It was left to stand-in skipper AB de Villiers (80) to produce the most impressive batting after he had won the toss in front of a near full-house at New Road.

De Villiers, deputising for Smith who had returned home for the birth of his daughter on Wednesday, struck 12 boundaries in his 118 ball innings. Russell shared the new ball and had Rudolph bowled via an inside edge. Petersen then drove at Russell and edged to Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell at second slip.

It became 74 for three when Jones accounted for Duminy before De Villiers and Albie Morkel produced the most fluent batting of the innings during a stand of 91 in 22 overs. Morkel reached his half century off 69 balls with nine fours but did not add to his tally before he was bowled by Russell.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals, including De Villiers who provided a notable scalp for Worcestershire debutant, and 21-year-old all-rounder Joe Leach. Spinners Moeen Ali and Shaaiq Choudhry shared four wickets before the declaration at 237 for nine with 22 overs remaining.

Proteas paceman Dale Steyn continued the form shown against England by striking in his first two overs when Worcestershire launched their reply. Mitchell (0) and Moeen (4) both edged to Petersen at third slip to leave Worcestershire on four for two.

Morne Morkel also struck when brother Albie held on to a juggling catch at first slip to account for James Cameron (14). But Matthew Pardoe (40 not out) provided stubborn resistance as the home side closed on 70 for three from 22 overs.

10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest cricket news

  • Jonathan Trott is to take another break from cricket, according to reports

    England batsman Jonathan Trott is set to step away from competitive cricket for a second time in five months due to a stress-related illness, it was reported on Thursday evening.

  • Ben Stokes is currently injured

    Ben Stokes will have to remain patient before he can start to make up for time he has lost due to a self-inflicted injury.

  • Ben Stokes is hoping to put his troubles behind him

    Ben Stokes is learning the hard way, for the second time in his life, that he must keep his anger under control if he is to make the most of his outstanding natural talent.

  • Gary Kirsten believes more coaches will opt for the IPL over Test cricket

    Gary Kirsten believes that the all-year demands of international coaching may lead many to look for employment in tournaments such as the Indian Premier League, rather than pursue Test cricket jobs.

  • Alastair Cook believes county players have an excellent chance to advance their claims for a Test spot

    England captain Alastair Cook has admitted the team's recent struggles mean there are "quite a few places up for grabs".

  • Sam Robson's century enhanced his England chances

    England hopeful Sam Robson has targeted more big scores for Middlesex to strengthen his claim to international selection this summer.

  • Ed Joyce's Sussex are the early leaders in LV= County Championship Division One

    Captain Ed Joyce's second century of the match carried Sussex to victory number two, over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and into an early lead in the new LV= County Championship Division One season.

  • Andrew Flintoff may be pleasing the crowds again this summer, at St Annes

    Andrew Flintoff may be about to return to his roots this summer, by turning out for his old club side St Annes.

  • Australia's Chris Rogers has hinted he could retire next year

    Australia opener Chris Rogers has suggested that "in an ideal world" he would retire after next year's Ashes series in England.

  • James Anderson thinks the onus is on the players to turn England's fortunes around this summer

    James Anderson believes this winter's Ashes flops must take the responsibility of leading England into their new era.

  • Northants have lost the services of Rory Kleinveldt

    Northamptonshire's hopes of signing South African Rory Kleinveldt have been scuppered by injury.

  • Jonny Bairstow broke a finger in the friendly with Northamptonshire

    Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out for up to six weeks after breaking a finger.

  • Giles Clarke may be welcoming Ireland to Lord's

    An inaugural England-Ireland Test match at Lord's has become a foreseeable reality after the International Cricket Council specified its pathway to the top table for associate members.

  • South Africa and Australia will return to tour Zimbabwe

    South Africa will play Test cricket in Zimbabwe for the first time in 13 years in August, following the release of a ground-breaking month-long tour.

  • Captain Ed Joyce hit back-to-back centuries as Sussex broke their Edgbaston hoodoo

    Captain Ed Joyce duly saw Sussex through to their first county championship victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston in more than 30 years.