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RHODES BRACED FOR MORE HARD WORK TO FORCE VICTORY AFTER SALUTING AJMAL

Steve Rhodes saluted another wicket-laced performance from Saeed Ajmal but insists there is still plenty of work to do if Worcestershire are to triumph in the LV = County Championship top two meeting with Hampshire at New Road.

Ajmal took his wicket tally to 37 in six games for the county with the help of figures of 7-63 from 21.5 overs as Hampshire were forced to follow on 183 behind after being dismissed for 219.

For good measure Ajmal then dismissed Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams for the second time in the day as the visitors closed on 31-1.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said: "Saeed was phenomenal today. It's almost like he toils a little bit and as soon as he gets a little chink or a wicket opens an end up, then the full array of deliveries come out and it is very difficult to start your innings against.

"I thought he bowled beautifully today and obviously took the main bulk of the wickets but the other lads worked hard around him and it's still a team effort. But Saeed was amazing.

"As the ball got older funnily enough maybe he could get a bit more grip, certainly he started to spin the ball more appreciably.

"I think he likes a little bit of an older ball, not too new, not too shiny, not too slippy. He likes it when he can get a grip of things and the more the game went on, the more he came into his own."

Worcestershire have been frustrated by the weather in several games when in control but the forecast is better for Wednesday.

Rhodes said: "I will be delighted first and foremost if the weather forecast is right. It is going to be a terrific day so come on down, it should be a really good day's cricket.

"We can't get too ahead of ourselves. We've got a real mountain to climb in taking nine wickets tomorrow and potentially knocking off whatever runs we might have to chase.

"We shouldn't get too carried away. We've still got to create nine chances and take nine chances and it will be hard work.

"But we've put ourselves in a very strong position and that's due to some terrific batting and great bowling by Saeed."

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