Leicestershire will 'fight to the end', says Lewis Hill

By Richard Rae
Lewis Hill. Photo: Getty ImagesLewis Hill. Photo: Getty Images
Lewis Hill. Photo: Getty Images

Leicestershire batsman Lewis Hill believes Leicestershire will be 'fighting to the very end' as opener Ed Pollock smashed a maiden first-class century to put Worcestershire in complete control of their LV Insurance county championship fixture at the UptonSteel County Ground.

The former Warwickshire player, who moved to Worcestershire with the aim of playing red ball cricket, hit ten fours and two sixes as he raced to three figures from 113 deliveries during a protracted final session that closed shortly after 7pm with the visitors leading by 369 runs, and an overnight declaration expected from captain Brett D'Oliviera.

"I was disappointed not to go to three figures after working hard to get close, but there's always the second innings," he said.

"It was good to feel the form I found last season was still there though, after I had to miss the pre-season games with Covid.

"The pitch seemed to have freshened up a bit overnight in the first hour, and they bowled well, very disciplined in their lines, and there was a bit more bounce.

"It'll be interesting to see what they do in the morning, have a few more overs or risk it and declare overnight.

"The pitch is still essentially pretty good, it's not going to break up here, in fact it's a fantastic track for early April.

"You never know in cricket and we'll be fighting to the very end"

Pollock and fellow opener Jake Libby put together a stand of 163 when they began Worcestershire's second innings, scoring at over five an over after Leicestershire had been bowled out for 213, all-rounder Joe Leach taking 4-37 to go with his first innings 70.

Resuming on 42-3, Leicestershire suffered a big early blow when captain Colin Ackermann, having added only four to his overnight score, was given out leg before when he left a delivery from Leach that came back and hit his back pad, though replays suggested it had not done nearly enough to hit off stump.

Lewis Hill battled on, reaching his 50 with a cut to the point boundary, but had an escape when another attempted cut came off the top edge and flew high to first slip, where Pollock got both hands to the ball but could not hang on. Hill and Harry Swindells raised a 50 partnership for the fifth wicket before Swindells was bowled by a swinging delivery from Ed Barnard, and the Worcestershire seamer struck again soon afterwards, Ben MIke checking an on-drive and giving Azhar Ali a simple catch at mid-on.

When Hill himself was bowled for 93, chopping a wide delivery from Pennington into his leg stump, the prospects of the Foxes saving the follow-on looked remote, the more so when Callum Parkinson (somewhat unluckily) and then Ed Barnes (plumb) went leg before, to Charlie Morris and Joe Leach respectively.

Another 34 runs were still needed when last man Beuran Hendricks joined Chris Wright at the wicket, but the two played sensibly against the ageing ball, and when D'Oliveira tried spin, Wright hit the young left-armer Josh Baker for three fours down the ground to ensure Leicestershire at least avoided that particular humiliation.

They were soon chasing leather, however, as Pollock and Libby thrashed the bowling to all parts, Pollock hitting 16 off the very first over, bowled by Wright. Libby was eventually bowled off the inside edge by Ben MIke, who went on to pick up a flattering 4-27 as Worcestershire's batsmen chased quick runs, Pollock holing out to midwicket.