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Shantry claims second five-for as County draw
8:00pm Sunday 3rd June 2012 in Reports
JACK Shantry completed the second five-wicket return of his career but Worcestershire’s LV= County Championship Division One game against Somerset fizzled out into a draw.
Bad light frustrated both sides on the final day at New Road – it caused a 70-minute delay at one stage – as the hosts eventually closed by declaring their second innings on 129-7, a lead of 171.
Shantry recorded figures of 5-58 in helping to dismiss Somerset for 298 in their first innings, with the visitors losing their last three wickets for the addition of just 21 runs.
George Dockrell also became the leading spin bowler in the LV= County Championship after the Ireland prospect’s second-innings return of 3-56 took him to 29 Division One wickets — two more then Derbyshire’s David Wainwright in Division Two.
However, the bad light hold-up effectively killed off Somerset’s hopes of pushing for a surprise victory, as the stoppage gave Worcestershire time to re-group.
Moeen Ali, unbeaten with 47, and Matt Pardoe (28) settled their nerves in a partnership of 63, but there was still time for further mishaps when Craig Kieswetter took 2-3 in his first bowling spell in county cricket.
The wicketkeeper ditched his pads and celebrated a wicket when his fifth ball squeezed through to bowl Pardoe.
In his second over, Ben Scott was run out and in the third Gareth Andrew was given out leg before.
No real harm was done as Worcestershire opened up a lead of 171 prior to a match-closing declaration at 129-7 but it could have been different if Craig Overton had taken a chance off Dockrell at mid-wicket when Moeen was on 27.
The final day began with Somerset dismissed for 298, with left-arm seamer Shantry the pick of the County attack.
At that stage an afternoon of batting practice appeared to be the most likely outcome for Worcestershire but the introduction of Dockrell opened up an alternative scenario.
Having hoisted the spinner’s first ball for six over mid-wicket, Phil Hughes (22) looked for something similar from the next delivery but only succeeded in scooping the ball high into the air for a simple catch by Kieswetter.
A big in-swinger from Peter Trego rattled Vikram Solanki’s leg stump and Worcestershire were under pressure when Dockrell claimed two wickets in five balls.
Captain Daryl Mitchell (16) turned a catch to short leg and James Cameron was all at sea before edging to James Hildreth at slip.
With only one championship appearance before this season, Dockrell has emerged as a match-winner, taking six wickets in the second innings in each of his side’s victories, against Middlesex and Durham, at Taunton.
The 19-year-old left-arm spinner from Dublin, who has played in 28 one-day internationals, again proved he is capable of exploiting any last-day deterioration in pitches.
Worcestershire, with five left handers, were particularly vulnerable when he turned the ball out of the rough outside the off stump.