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RHODES PRAISES EFFORTS OF TEAM TO OVERCOME LOSING "CRUCIAL" TOSS AT GRACE ROAD

 

Steve Rhodes praised the way Worcestershire were able to overcome losing the toss and having to bat first on a green Grace Road pitch as they overpowered Leicestershire by 234 runs.

A superb 100 from Alexei Kervezee enabled the visitors to reach 237 in conditions on the first day loaded in favour of the bowlers.

Worcestershire restricted their opponents first innings lead to 41 and Rhodes believed the partnership between skipper Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell on the second evening and third morning - 178 in 55 overs - was crucial.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said: "I am delighted. We lost the toss and it was quite crucial actually so we battled away to get something on the board in the first innings and I thought that was quite crucial in the game.

"For us to fightback in the manner we did and get on top of them in that third innings was a really special effort from all of the team.

"The first innings was pretty even stevens in many ways, that's why the last session on the second day was absolutely crucial for us to try and get through.

"That also made yesterday's morning session crucial and we formed partnerships with Tom Fell and Daryl Mitchell throughout those two sessions that meant we were in a strong position and that was probaby the telling point of the match."

Rhodes has stressed the desire for the county's pace bowlers to make early inroads before introducing Saeed Ajmal into the attack.

It worked perfectly on the final day with four wickets down before the Pakistan spin star entered the action to deadly effect with a 6-13 burst in 36 balls.

Rhodes said: "We want to try and knock a few over initially so it makes life easier for Saeed and he is absolutely devastating when he has got something to bowl on and someone to bowl at.

"I wouldn't enjoy facing facing him and trying to pick which way the ball is going to go.

"He was excellent again today and proved again what a fantastic and wonderful overseas player he is.

"He really is top of his tree in spin bowling and one of the best in the world and we are getting a lot of pleasure from watching him but also a lot of pleasure from seeng him take wickets and helping to win games."

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