Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Bumpy Praise For Worcestershire Recovery After “staring Down The Barrel”

Bumpy Praise For Worcestershire Recovery After “staring Down The Barrel”

Steve Rhodes praised the way Worcestershire fought back after being on the end of Sussex batsman Matt Machan's onslaught before lunch.

Director of Cricket Rhodes was delighted to bowl Sussex out for 345 after Machan had bludgeoned a quickfire century.

Then openers Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver showed the same fighting qualities in steering Worcestershire to 45-0 off 15 overs in a testing final hour.

Rhodes told BBC Hereford-Worcester: "I'm delighted because at lunch-time at 160-1, we were really staring down the barrel.

"Matt Machan's century was outstanding. He hit the ball so sweetly and cleanly and looked a real proper class player.

"When a guy plays like that, he is very difficult to bowl at and it was his day.

"He played really well but I was so pleased with the way we fought back. They probably got a bit casual, gave us a couple of wickets, and then we had a little opening to bowl them out.

"I was delighted to bowl them out for under 350 and then thankfully get to 40 odd for nought at the end.

"We shared the wickets around and deserved to pick up a couple of wickets each. A little bit of sloppy batting from the Sussex players gave us an opening and we took it."

Rhodes believes the Hove pitch is a "good cricket wicket" with pace and bounce.

He said: "We knew the pitch would be like this. We played here a few years ago on a relaid wicket. This is about five years old so that's relaid and they definitely bounce and go through.

"But runs can be scored as Matt Machan proved and sometimes the boundaries do keep coming.

"It looks like it is a pretty good cricket wicket but certainly has got a bit of pace and bounce and carry."

When asked if his bowlers had delivered too many 'four' balls, Rhodes said: "Let's not take anything away from Matt Machan. That was a stunning innings and we bowled some really good balls at him and he climbed into them and hit them for four and six.

"I wouldn't like to go to hard on our bowlers. I think they were a little bit shocked by the onslaught as well like all of us were.

"Let's give credit to a young batsman who played exceedingly well. I was just grateful when we got him out, we managed to go through them.

"It is an innings he will treasure and enjoy and thankfully for us he chipped one up because he looked like he was going to keep going forever!"

Rhodes was also pleased with the way Mitchell, who survived one dropped chance, and Oliver negotiated the final 15 overs.

He said: "I think Steve Magoffin looked very dangerous. He is a wonderful bowler. He hits a good length and nips the ball both ways off the seam.

"That is difficult especially when there is a bit of bounce and carry in the wicket but Richard and Daryl played extremely well to get through to the end without losing their wickets and it's the start hopefully of what will be a nice opening partnership.

"We would love to be in a situation at the end of the second day where we are level with Sussex.

"In the last match against Yorkshire, that's what they did to us by the end of the second day and then managed to bowl us out in the third innings and that's something we will try and do."