Wednesday, July 14th, 2021


Ed Barnard completed his second LV=Insurance County Championship century of the season as Worcestershire ended their Group 1 programme with a high-scoring draw against local rivals Warwickshire at New Road.

Barnard went to three figures off 200 balls with eight fours in a superb effort after being promoted to number six for this game.

It followed on from his maiden hundred against Essex at Chelmsford, and he has ended the Group 1 phase of the competition with nearly 600 runs this summer.

With excellent support from Adam Finch in a ninth-wicket stand of 101, Barnard was able to earn Worcestershire a first-innings lead of 52 as they declared on 447-9.

Finch then dismissed England opener Dominic Sibley, but half-centuries from Rob Yates and Pieter Malan helped the Bears to 215-2 by the close.

Worcestershire collected 12 points from the game and finished fifth in the division after a campaign in which they drew six of their ten matches and gained the one victory against Derbyshire at New Road.

They resumed on 415-8, with Barnard needing two more runs to complete his century.

It duly arrived with a single off Liam Norwell to deep mid-wicket and was greeted warmly by the crowd and his teammates.

Barnard’s ton came from 200 balls and contained eight fours.

Finch continued to give Barnard good support, and the 100 partnership for the ninth wicket was completed off 232 balls.

The stand was finally broken when Finch (31) was caught behind off Norwell after 141 balls and two and a quarter hours of defiance.

Barnard cover drove Norwell for four before the declaration, with debutant Josh Baker unbeaten on 12.

Left-arm spinner Baker then took the new ball in tandem with Club Captain Joe Leach.

Leg spinner Ish Sodhi, who had taken six wickets in Warwickshire’s first innings, was soon into the attack.

Yates played and missed at a delivery from the New Zealander, and then Dominic Sibley edged a ball just short of Daryl Mitchell at slip.

Sodhi got his fingertips to a return drive from Yates on 30 before Finch made the breakthrough with 76 on the board.

Sibley (41) went for a pull on the leg side but only succeeded in edging through to keeper Ben Cox.

Yates completed a 115-ball half-century with two boundaries, and first-innings century-maker, Pieter Malan, brought up a fifty from 73 deliveries.

Baker collected a late scalp when Yates (88) went for a slog sweep and was caught by Cox running around to mid-wicket to leave Malan unbeaten on 77 when the two sides shook hands.