Roderick helps Pears build big total against Kent

Worcestershire centurion Gareth Roderick
Worcestershire centurion Gareth Roderick paid tribute to his departed former colleague Josh Baker [Justin Setterfield - Getty Images]

Vitality County Championship Division One, The Spitfire Ground, (day one)

Worcestershire 308-5 (96 overs): Roderick 117, Kashif Ali 72, Hose 50*

Kent: Yet to bat

Worcestershire 2 pts, Kent 1 pt

Match scorecard

Gareth Roderick's century put Worcestershire in control on day one against Kent at Canterbury as the Pears marked the sad passing of team-mate Josh Baker.

Opener Roderick hit 117 from 281 balls as the visitors reached 308-5 at stumps, supplemented by 72 from former Kent second XI player Kashif Ali, with Adam Hose unbeaten on 50.

England leg-spinner Matt Parkinson took 2-79 but Kent struggled to make anything happen on a benign wicket until Joey Evison claimed two late wickets.

The day began in sombre fashion, with an emotive minute's applause for Worcestershire spinner Baker, who died last week at the age of just 20.

Both teams wore black armbands and the flags flew at half-mast over the Frank Woolley Stand - and all the Pears player wore their shirts wearing Baker's old number 33.

Kent's new overseas signing Beyers Swanepoel generated some early swing but the hosts' only victim during the morning session was vice captain Jake Libby, who had looked lively on his way to 19 until he was lbw to Wes Agar - so plumb he turned and walked before the umpire even had time to raise his finger.

It was 94-1 at lunch with Roderick and Kashif largely untroubled.

They took their second-wicket stand to 136 before Kashif began to look jittery against Parkinson, eventually nicking him to keeper Harry Finch.

Captain Brett D'Oliveira made 18 but, having almost nicked Parkinson to Daniel Bell-Drummond at slip, he went the same way a couple of deliveries later.

It was 210-3 but Kent's hopes faded during the evening as Hose joined Roderick for a partnership of 102.

Roderick drove Agar through cow corner to reach his second successive century but Evison belatedly gave a dwindling number of home supporters something to smile about when he sent his off stump cart-wheeling.

He then got nightwatchman Joe Leach lbw for one at the end of the penultimate over.

Worcestershire centurion Gareth Roderick:

“It was a very emotional day, obviously. It was a lovely tribute for Josh. The boys are devastated about what’s happened but we’ve pulled together as a group. It was a lovely ovation in his memory and it affected the boys quite deeply.

“We were quite moved. We certainly felt his presence with us. The boys can all feel him sitting on their shoulders sat in the dressing room. Sometimes things are a bit bigger than cricket.

“Being brutally honest this morning the round of applause had quite a profound effect on me. I didn’t think it would, maybe naively.

“I was very disappointed to get out at the end, but it was nice wicket to bat on. There’s not a huge amount of pace on it, so at times it was tough to score."