Morris reaches season milestone as County pursue title

CHARLIE MORRIS: Fifty first-class wickets for the season.

CHARLIE MORRIS: Fifty first-class wickets for the season.

First published in Sport

WORCESTERSHIRE paceman Charlie Morris reached 50 first-class wickets for the season after an impressive display on the opening day of the LV= County Championship clash at Derbyshire.

Morris reached the landmark at Derby when he bowled Wayne White to pick up his fourth wicket of the innings.

He has claimed 46 championship wickets for title-chasing Worcestershire as well as four for Oxford University against Nottinghamshire in April.

Morris, the pick of the bowlers, finished with 4-43 from 24 overs as Derbyshire ended the day on 323-8 after electing to bat first.

Leaders Worcestershire kept faith with the side who suffered their first championship defeat of the campaign against Gloucestershire at New Road a fortnight ago.

Derbyshire chose to bat after winning the toss and initially were kept in check by the visitors' attack.

Morris conceded just nine runs in a frugal opening eight overs and Billy Godleman scored only three runs off 48 deliveries in the first hour, which yielded 29 from 16 overs.

Joe Leach made the first breakthrough with a delivery which rose on Ben Slater (29) and was edged to skipper Daryl Mitchell at second slip with 41 on the board.

Godleman and Wayne Madsen gradually increased the scoring rate as the 100 came up in the 33rd over.

Madsen survived a difficult chance on 29 off Mitchell McClenaghan which Tom Fell failed to hold onto at gulley.

He reached his half-century off 72 balls with nine fours and the century partnership with Godleman came up in only 22 overs.

But the impressive Morris ended the stand on 112 when Madsen (56) edged to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at first slip.

The same combination struck again to account for Godleman after a patient 55 in three-and-a-half hours out of 164-3 in the 54th over.

The runs dried up and the expensive Leach (2-84) took the 50th first-class wicket of his career when Chesney Hughes (13) shouldered arms and was bowled.

Wes Durston (32) provided Jack Shantry with his first wicket after he edged to Mitchell at second slip.

Morris returned to have wicketkeeper Gareth Cross (4) pouched by Tom Fell at third slip.

The new ball was taken at 252-6 and Wayne Wright, on loan from Lancashire, was twice dropped off Morris in the slips.

But Morris was not to be denied his 50th wicket, which arrived when he bowled Wright (6).

David Wainwright (9) was then caught by Alexei Kervezee of Shantry (2-66).

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