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    Worcestershire returns to form with Roderick Hundred
Worcestershire returns to form with Roderick Hundred
Gareth Roderick looks to the sky after scoring his hundred. Source: Getty Images

Worcestershire returns to form with Roderick Hundred

A Gareth Roderick century put Worcestershire in a commanding position after the opening day of their Vitality County Championship clash with Kent at Canterbury.

The visitors were 308 for 5 at stumps, Roderick 117 off 281 balls after former Kent 2nd XI player Kashif Ali's 72 gave them a platform. Adam Hose was unbeaten on 50 at the stumps and reached his half-century with a single off Nathan Gilchrist in the final over of the day.

Matt Parkinson took 2 for 79 but it was largely a sluggish day in the field for Kent, who struggled to get anything going on a benign pitch until Joey Evison took two late wickets to finish with figures of 2 for 39.

The day began in sombre fashion with an emotional minute's applause for Worcestershire's Josh Baker, who died last week aged just 20. Both teams wore black armbands and flags flew at half-mast over the Frank Woolley Stand.

A crowd of over 1000 made the most of the first really warm day of the season at the Spitfire Ground and, to no one's surprise, the visitors elected to bat after winning the toss.

Kent's new overseas signing Beyers Swanepoel provided some early momentum but the hosts' only victim in the morning session was Jake Libby, who was looking lively on his way to 19 when he was lbw to a Wes Agar delivery so plumb that he turned and walked off before the umpire had time to raise a finger.

It was 94 for 1 at lunch and while Kent didn't bowl poorly, Roderick and Kashif looked largely untroubled. They put on 136 for the second wicket until the latter began to look nervous against Parkinson and eventually edged him to keeper Harry Finch.

Brett D'Oliveira started the innings, but after almost nicking Parkinson to Daniel Bell-Drummond at the start of the 61st over, he was caught by the Kent captain at first slip for 18 a few deliveries later.

It was 210 for 3 at tea, but if D'Oliveira's wicket had briefly revived Kent's hopes, they faded as the evening wore on as Hose joined Roderick in a partnership of 102 that seriously dented home morale.

Roderick drove Agar through cow corner for 100 but Evison belatedly gave the dwindling home crowd something to smile about when he sent his stump cartwheeling before trapping nightwatchman Joe Leach lbw for 1 in the penultimate over.

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