Palladino rises as Essex crash

PUBLISHED: 11:17 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG TONY Palladino has reached the top 10 in this week s LV County Championship Division Two bowling rankings. But his efforts were not enough to prevent Essex from crashing to defeat at Worcestershire. Palladino claimed three early wickets


TONY Palladino has reached the top 10 in this week's LV County Championship Division Two bowling rankings.

But his efforts were not enough to prevent Essex from crashing to defeat at Worcestershire.

Palladino claimed three early wickets in a devastating first-innings spell as Essex took control at New Road, reducing Worcestershire to 66-4 before finally dismissing the home side for 176.

But Essex's batsmen failed to capitalise as they were skittled out for just 116 and Worcestershire's second innings total of 279 laid the platform for a 75-run win - their first victory of the season.

Such an outcome appeared unlikely on Day One as Palladino and the Essex bowlers tore through Worcestershire's top order.

Worcestershire's opening pair Daryl Mitchell and Stephen Moore laboured for over an hour to reach 24 before the latter was trapped lbw by Alex Tudor.

Palladino then struck twice in quick succession to remove Mitchell and Vikram Solanki - both caught behind - before taking the prize wicket of Worcestershire legend and former England batsmen Graeme Hick.

The Whitechapel-born fast bowler took his season's tally to 11 wickets with the dismissal of Hick, and climbed into the top-10 in the county bowling rankings.

Palladino, who has claimed best figures of 4-29 this year, is 10th in the current standings with 11 wickets at an average of 20.09.

Former England star Simon Jones tops the rankings with 14 wickets at 10.64 following his match figures of 8-55 against Essex.

Jones took 4-14 in the first innings, including two wickets with his first two balls on the second day to wrap up the tail.

Palladino and David Masters had earlier shared a ninth-wicket stand of 26 - the second highest partnership of the innings - to ensure the visitors at least reached three figures.

But Jones had Masters caught at first slip and Kaneria fell next ball when he fended a bouncer to backward point, leaving Palladino unbeaten on 14.

Ben Smith top-scored with 71 as Worcestershire built up a second-innings lead of 340 and though Essex were given hope of an unlikely victory thanks to a century partnership between Ravi Bopara and James Foster, Jones returned to clear up the tail.

Palladino had also shone in last week's battling draw against Leicestershire at Chelsmford, taking 3-33 as the visitors were dismissed for 159 in their first innings.

Palladino then made an unbeaten 22 as Essex struggled to a total of 164 before Leicestershire built up a commanding second-innings lead thanks to a third-wicket stand of 145 between South Africans HD Ackerman and Boeta Dippenaar.

But Palladino helped Essex avert defeat with a valuable rearguard action on the final day.

Chasing a target of 445, the home side looked sunk when they were reduced to 222-7 with 50 overs left to play, but Foster remained unbeaten on 88 and found resolute partners in Masters and Palladino before tail-ender Danish Kaneria joined him to fend off the final 21 balls.

Masters dug out five runs from 87 deliveries before falling lbw to Garnett Kruger and Palladino also shone in defence, using up 53 balls for his two runs before he was bowled by Henderson, leaving Foster and Kaneria to save a share of the points for Essex.

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