Monday, August 31st, 2015

Ajmal And Shantry Close To Personal Milestones Ahead Of “huge” Sussex Meeting

Ajmal And Shantry Close To Personal Milestones Ahead Of “huge” Sussex Meeting

Saeed Ajmal and Jack Shantry are within reach of personal milestones going into tomorrow's home LV = County Championship clash with Sussex (10.30am start) – a game described as "huge" by skipper Daryl Mitchell.

Spinner Ajmal, in the final appearance of his current spell at New Road, needs just four more wickets to clock up the 100 mark in the Championship for his adopted County.

Ajmal has taken 96 wickets in 19 matches spanning three spells at New Road in 2011, 2014 and 2015 and last summer was a key player in securing promotion from Division Two.

He has also been Worcestershire's leading wicket-taker in the NatWest T20 Blast this summer with 21 in 12 appearances at 16.57 runs apiece – the sixth highest tally in the country in 2015.

Ajmal is returning home as was always intended to participate in a religious festival and West Indian paceman Shannon Gabriel will replace him as the overseas player for the final two games with Durham and Middlesex.

Meanwhile, left-arm paceman Shantry needs just one more wicket to join Joe Leach in reaching the 50 mark for the season in the Championship.

Shantry achieved that goal for the first time last summer when he ended up with 56 Championship wickets.

Worcestershire have named the same squad originally chosen for the rain affected clash with Somerset at Taunton which was abandoned as a draw after a last day wash-out.

It consists of the 11 who played against Somerset – plus all-rounder Ed Barnard.

Worcestershire are four points behind Sussex after the Taunton rain denied them the chance of batting points on the final day.

Skipper Mitchell said: "We were 20-odd runs away from another batting point when the heavy rain arrived at Taunton.

"I am sure we would have built on their platform and got another few bonus points. The weather curtailed our chances and six points was not what we were looking for.

"Sussex picked up more than us against Yorkshire and have leapfrogged us by a couple of points. The match against Sussex is huge."

Worcestershire (from):