Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Bumpy: Nature Of County’s Superb Win A Reminder Of The “old Days”

Bumpy: Nature Of County’s Superb Win A Reminder Of The “old Days”

Steve Rhodes said the nature of Worcestershire's magnificent win over Northamptonshire reminded him of the "old days" of three-day cricket when teams would contrive and negotiate to manufacture a result.

Worcestershire achieved their highest successful run chase in matches at New Road – and second biggest in their history – as they reached 401 with six balls of the possible 80 overs to spare.

There appeared little likelihood of a positive result at the start of the final day unless the two captains could devise a plan – and that is exactly what happened with Worcestershire declaring 350 behind and Northants making 50-1 in their second innings.

Then superb centuries from Daryl Mitchell – his second of the game – and Joe Clarke plus major contributions down the order enabled Worcestershire to reach their demanding target and keep alive their Specsavers County Championship promotion hopes.

Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: "Hopefully the people who stayed for the fourth day will have really enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of the old days when games were set up and people criticised a bit of joke bowling and stuff like that.

"There wasn't much of that, just a little bit, but what it does unfold is a great game of cricket because 400 off 80 overs is a tough ask.

"In the old three day games, that sort of thing would happen a lot. You'd outplay someone for the first two days and then they'd pick up on the last day and pip you.

"Similarly you'd get outplayed for two days and then the last day, you'd come home.

"Look, they totalled bossed the game, the first two days. The third day was really difficult batting and it was important we stayed in the game then.

"The wicket with the cloud cover we were playing in, it seamed around and carried and zipped on so it was not easy batting at all so we managed to stay in the game and for Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) to get a couple of hundreds was really important for us.

"It was great they wanted to play a game. To get 400 off 80 is a tough chase so things were in their favour with negotiations simply because they deserved to be in that position so they could negotiate well but thankfully for us we just managed to scrape home.

"Thankfully for us, the wicket hadn't deteriorated, which we expected it not to, and thankfully for us we came out on the right side but a big thank you also to Northants for playing in the right way and they nearly got their win as well."

Worcestershire's fourth win of the season justified the home side's decision to bat first.

Rhodes said: "It was very exciting stuff and we were pleased because when we won the toss and bowled, everyone thought 'what a silly decision' and it looked it at 550.

"Maybe if we had taken our chances it would have been a lot less than that.

"But we always felt we could try and have a second bite of the cherry, and doing that was the possibility of trying to get a chase.

"You could bowl them out, which we failed to do, but we wanted to stay in the game and try and get a chase and thankfully for us, we came out on the right side.

"There were a couple of really good hundreds and then some really good contributions down the order.

"Joe (Leach) and Barny (Ed Barnard) down the order at eight and nine are good quality and Shants (Jack Shantry)has got a couple of centuries.

"You need to do that though. Gone are the days when numbers eight, nine, ten and eleven are your tail and so we need to shorten that tail and we are managing to do that.

"A really good performance from the lads down the order but totally set up by Mitch and Joe Clarke in their wonderful partnership.

"Without that setting up, we would have got nowhere near."