County Championship D1, New Road (day two, stumps): Worcestershire 619-6d; Gloucestershire 108-6
Graeme Hick and Ben Smith put on the highest first-class partnership witnessed at New Road as Worcestershire hit 619-6 against Gloucestershire.
HIGHEST THIRD-WICKET PARTNERSHIPS IN ENGLAND
438: G.A. Hick & T.M.Moody, Worcestershire v Hampshire (Southampton, 1997)
436: D.L. Maddy & B.J. Hodge, Leics v Loughborough UCCE (Leicester, 2003)
424: W.J. Edrich & D.C.S. Compton, Middlesex v Somerset (Lord's, 1948)
417: G.A. Hick & B.F. Smith, Worcs v Gloucestershire (Worcester, 2004)
At stumps on day two of the Division One Championship match, the visitors were a worrying 108-6 replying to the hosts' mammoth declared score.
Hick (262) and Smith (187) had put on 417 for the third wicket.
It was the 11th-best partnership for that wicket in first-class history. Vikram Solanki added 74 to the cause.
Hick and Smith had already acheived something special when they resumed their partnership on Wednesday morning with scores of 183 and 166 respectively.
But Smith finally fell lbw to Pakistani spinner Shoaib Malik with a few more landmarks left to pass.
Solanki picked up the baton in fine style in a rapid partnership of 100 with Hick, who fell immediately after lunch after facing 397 deliveries, and hitting 35 fours and three sixes.
Gareth Batty then took 3-27 in Gloucestershire's innings to show the wicket was not quite as easy to bat on as Hick had made it look.
Hick had a dismal time in 2003, scoring just 670 first class runs in an
But he is now back firing on all cylinders ahead of his 38th birthday on
He said: "The hunger is still there for me to score runs. Everytime I go out
to bat, it's a challenge.
"Every day is different, every wicket is different. Some are hard work, some
are a little bit easier but the more time you spend at the crease the better.
"I didn't bat so well last year and this year I've tried to get myself
focused and knuckle down a bit more."
Commenting on Gloucestershire's collapse, Hick said: "It is never
easy batting when you have been in the field for a day and a half.
"We thought that Batts (Gareth Batty) might have a big part to play but we'll
still have to continue bowling well."
Worcestershire: S D Peters, S C Moore, G A Hick, B F Smith (Capt) V S Solanki, Kadeer Ali, G J Batty, S J Rhodes (Wkt), M S Mason M N Malik, M A Harrity.
Gloucestershire: C M Spearman, W P C Weston, M G N Windows
T H C Hancock, C G Taylor (Capt), A P R Gidman, Shoaib Malik
S J Adshead (Wkt), I D Fisher, J M M Averis, J Lewis.