Ned Eckersley demonstrated just why he is so highly rated in Leicestershire circles with a splendid unbeaten century against Worcestershire at New Road yesterday. With rain having lopped more than a day's play from the game it is difficult to see how a result can now be fashioned after the County finished day three on 229-2 in reply to the home side's first innings total of 320-7 declared. But that should take nothing away from Eckersley, who posted his third first-class century and showed that he can develop into a high-class No.3 for the County. While Leicestershire will face much tougher tests than the current Worcestershire attack, it was still heartening to see the way the top order batsmen applied themselves on a pitch which was never the easiest to score on and offered some assistance to the spin bowlers. Thilan Samaraweera completed his century early during the morning session and Worcestershire promptly declared. However, any hopes they had of an early breakthrough were repelled by a determined opening stand between Niall O'Brien and Michael Thornely. They added 51 before Thornely was bowled for 17 in the final over before lunch. O'Brien fell for 46 after he and Eckersley had added 55 runs for the second-wicket. But Eckersley batted through to the tea interval reaching his half-century with a delightful drive through extra cover and carried on in similar vein after the break until rain intervened at about 5.30pm.