Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Ajmal And Morris Demolish Glamorgan To Send County Back To The Top Of Table

Ajmal And Morris Demolish Glamorgan To Send County Back To The Top Of Table

Worcestershire moved back to the top of Division Two in the LV = County Championship after Saeed Ajmal and Charlie Morris demolished Glamorgan to secure a 249 run win at New Road.

Paceman Morris made the initial breakthroughs with a trio of wickets in an excellent eight over spell of 3-14 to take his tally in the Championship to 30 for the campaign.

Then spinner Ajmal took centre stage with figures of 7-34 in 17.4 overs – his fifth haul of five or more wickets for the county this season.

He was backed up by some superb catching and has now claimed 56 victims this season in just eight Championship matches.

Worcestershire are now 12 points clear of second placed Hampshire and, more importantly in the context of gaining promotion, 28 clear of third placed Surrey who have played a match more.

It was an excellent all-round performance in recovering from 39-3 on the first morning and effectively dominating the remainder of the game.

Tom Fell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Richard Oliver and Moeen Ali excelled with the bat while all the seamers again backed up the magic of Ajmal.

Worcestershire have collected maximum bowling points from their last 22 Championship matches – including all 10 so far this season.

They are also unbeaten in their last 12 Championship games – their best sequence since going 16 matches without defeat in 2002-2003.

Morris struck in his first over of the day when Tom Lancefield was stuck on the crease and edged to Tom Kohler-Cadmore who pouched a fine catch low to his left at third slip.

Nightwatchman Andrew Salter and new batsman Jacques Rudolph got their heads down against the accurate bowling of Jack Shantry and Morris.

They stayed together for 12 overs before Morris broke through again when Salter, having lasted 51 balls for two runs, fended off a short delivery and was caught by Shantry in the gulley with the total on 12.

Morris then collected the prized wicket of Rudolph who had batted well for 80 in the first innings before being run out.

This time Richard Oliver took a sharp low catch at short mid wicket to dismiss Rudolph for 11.

Ajmal then came into the attack in place of Shantry who conceded only three runs in his eight over spell.

His 50th wicket of the campaign came when Ben Wright (10) swept at the Pakistan star and was caught by Moeen Ali at deep square leg.

It became 32-5 when Chris Cooke failed to trouble the scorers before driving Ajmal to Shantry at mid off.

Will Bragg and Jim Allenby saw Glamorgan through to lunch without any further mishap at 46-5 from 30 overs.

The pair extended their stand to 52 in 16 overs but then the innings went into swift decline.

Fell pulled off a stunning tumbling catch running back to backward square leg after Allenby (35) had swept at Ajmal.

Then the 36-year-old polished off the innings in quickfire fashion with four wickets in seven balls.

Bragg (29) swung across the line and was caught behind, Rory Smith (0) was bowled, skipper Mark Wallace (8) was trapped lbw and last man Michael Hogan (0) was also bowled.

It was the perfect ending to a victory which the Worcestershire players wanted so much in honour of Academy coach Damian D'Oliveira who passed away on Sunday.

*Apologies for not bringing a report on the Second Eleven match with Leicestershire at Lutterworth this evening due to technical difficulties. We will endeavour to publish the full scoreboard tomorrow.