Worcestershire and Gloucestershire draw at New Road
LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION TWO, New Road: Match Drawn. Gloucestershire 245 & 243-7, Worcestershire 388 Worcestershire 10 pts, Gloucestershire 6 pts Match scorecard
Worcestershire were forced to settle for a draw after a rain-hit final day of their County Championship game with Gloucestershire at New Road.
Play did not get underway until mid-afternoon (1545 BST), with the visitors on 189-5, a lead of just 46.
Worcestershire needed early wickets to force a result, but Alan Richardson got just two, overnight pair James Franklin (23) and Chris Taylor (30).
Jon Lewis and Vikram Banerjee stayed together to seal the draw on 243-7.
England Lions batsman Moeen Ali's second Championship century of the season had put Worcestershire into a winning position.
And the home side's extra three batting bonus points helped Steve Rhodes' side reduce the gap on third-placed Gloucestershire.
Fourth-placed Worcestershire are now just four points behind their neighbours.
In the only Championship game to get underway, Taylor and Franklin took their partnership to 41 before Worcestershire made a breakthrough.
Franklin pulled Richardson to the square-leg boundary where he was caught two-handed low down by Alexei Kervezee before Taylor, top scorer in Gloucestershire's first innings with 71, swung across the line against a delivery which kept low.
Richardson, who took his season's haul to 31 wickets in seven Championship games, was then unfortunate not to remove Banerjee, put down at fourth slip by home skipper Vikram Solanki.
But Worcestershire had to be content with the better of a draw against a Gloucestershire side who had won four of their previous five matches.
It maintains Gloucestershire's poor run in Championship games at New Road, where they have not won since 1986.
BBC Hereford and Worcester's Trevor Owens offered his view of the truncated final day:
"The groundsman and his staff did well to get the game on at all, as it was raining for much of the morning.
"The resumption came a couple of hours too late for Worcestershire to press home the advantage, although Alan Richardson bowled well to end up with four wickets.
"When James Franklin and Chris Taylor went in fairly rapid order there was just a chance of a dramatic Worcestershire win but it wasn't to be.
"Jon Lewis and Vikram Banerjee rode their luck at times, but ultimately did a good job to hold out for the draw."
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