Friday, September 1st, 2023


Worcestershire Academy (Under-18s) have retained their ECB Under-18 County Championship Group Two title despite a final day wash-out against Gloucestershire at North Parade, Bath.

They followed up last year’s success in the three-day competition by again going through the five-game programme unbeaten.

Worcestershire looked well set to register a third victory in this year’s tournament after dominating the first two days before the elements intervened.

They eventually collected a total of 13 points from the fixture – five for a draw, and a maximum four apiece for batting and bowling – to finish on 80 points, two ahead of runners-up Northamptonshire.

There are no knockout stages in the competition.

Skipper Joe Stanley, Rehaan Edavalath and Ollie Walker all scored centuries against Gloucestershire while Harry Darley and Cameron Jones did much of the damage with the new ball.

Worcestershire opted to bat and Stanley hit his maiden hundred when opening the innings in a total of 300-9 declared.

He put on 51 for the first wicket with Olly Cox (38) and, after a collapse to 143-6, added 110 for the seventh wicket with Jones.

Stanley was eventually dismissed for 113 from 132 balls with 15 fours but Jones went onto make 78 from 79 deliveries with one six and 13 boundaries.

Jones and Darley then reduced Gloucestershire to 23-3 with the new ball and they were eventually bowled out for 197 in 52.1 overs.

Darley ended with 14-1-56-3 and Jones 7-1-27-2 with Walker (6-2-26-2), Reeve Evitts (9-0-25-1), Stanley (4.1-1-9-1) and Joshua Leach (5-0-20-1) the other wicket-takers.

Worcestershire then built on their first innings lead of 103 thanks to Edavalath and Walker who put on 232 for the second wicket.

Edavalath made 119 from 152 balls with 14 fours and Walker exactly 100 from 137 deliveries with three sixes and 11 fours in a total of 252-4 declared from 54 overs.

Gloucestershire were set a 356 target and Jones and Darley again made early inroads as they slumped to 29-3 before recovering to 95-3 by the end of day two.