Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Bumpy Takes Positives But Says Black Caps Clash “got Away From Us”

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes says there were "lots of positives to take" from the four-day clash with New Zealand but also admits it was a game "which got away from us" after the Blacks Caps triumphed by 15 runs at New Road.

The home side were set a 246 target in 50 overs and reached 208-4 at one juncture before losing their last six wickets for 22 runs as New Zealand triumphed with 3.4 overs to spare.

Shaaiq Choudhry returned his first five wicket haul at senior level for the county and there were good knocks from Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver before a flurry of late wickets saw the game swing New Zealand's way.

Rhodes said: "I think first and foremost it was a good game really. We've lost a day's play for rain and credit to both teams for having a game of cricket where we both went for it.

"In many ways it was definitely one which got away from us. If you rewind it a bit, we were 190-3 and collapsed to lose the game.

"But you've also got to give credit to New Zealand. They are an international attack, international players and they bowled well towards the end and made life difficult for us but we should have seen it home, that's for sure.

"There is some good stuff like Ross Whiteley getting a hundred against the tourists. It's always a good thing to get a hundred against the tourists. I think that was excellent.

"Shaaiq got five wickets against the tourists as well which is another good thing. For us, we played Ed Barnard, who is 19, and we wanted to see how he could cope against some good cricketers and he impressed us with bat and ball.

"There are lots of positives to take from it and in the run chase there I thought some of the top order played particularly well.

"Although they didn't go onto get the big score to see us home, they got some good forties, fifties and let's be honest, we should have seen it home.

"A win would have given us a bit of a lift but hopefully they will learn from that. I'm not going to say too much tonight but they will learn from that sort of thing.

"It was a game for the taking. You don't often get many chances to roll over the tourists but that was one of them and, as long as they do learn from it, and it makes them a little bit more resilient and battle-hardened, then we will hope we can improve from it."

Rhodes was impressed with New Zealand whom the county have a good relationship with since the sides met in Abu Dhabi 14 months ago.

He said: "They've been model pros and their coach Mike Hesson is a terrific guy.

"There is no real massive egos that they've got in their dressing room and they went about their business in the right way and played in the right spirit.

"There are some decent bowlers they've got in reserve there and if they are called in, if the likes of Southee and Boult are not quite right, then they've got some reasonable replacements."