Monday, April 8th, 2024


Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira felt it was crucial to launch the 2024 season with a strong performance after Worcestershire showed their quality in the rain-hit Vitality County Championship draw with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Worcestershire were in the driving seat at 237-2 in their second innings – a lead of 260 – shortly after tea on the third day but then rain ravaged the remainder of the game and prevented them setting the Bears a challenging target.

But they still collected a haul of 14 points on their return to Division One and looked the more likely of the two sides to be able to force victory had the elements not intervened.

Jake Libby completed a superb century on the final day, his 12th in 47 games for Worcestershire.

D’Oliveira said: “I think we performed well over these four days. There are always little bits you want to improve, and it will continue to be like that. That’s the game of cricket, the ebbs and flows of it.

“But we’ve played good cricket for a long period of time there and it was really pleasing.

“We know, especially in Division One, that if you perform badly in a session you get yourself right behind the eight ball.

“They are all very good teams so we have to be right on our game.

“I think it is really important to start the season with a good performance and it was nice to get out there and do that.”

D’Oliveira added: “When we have come up, we’ve always been the favourites to go down, if you look at the history, we have been up and down a little bit.

“But it’s potentially something we can use to our strength – and hopefully surprise a few teams.”

The stand-out performance came from Kashif Ali but D’Oliveira was also full of praise for other individuals.

He said: “I think Kash has had a really special game, and I think he is a special cricketer.

“I’m quite excited about his journey, where he’s been and where he is going. It is exciting for everyone, especially Worcestershire.

“I mentioned it earlier in the dressing room that it is quite easy to get carried away with looking at Kashif’s performances, and rightly so.

“But Libbs goes about his business the other end and no-one sort of notices, and you look up and he is on 60-70.

“He has been a great performer for Worcestershire over the last couple of years and long may it continue.

“With Gareth (Roderick), I have loved watching him opening the batting during the last couple of years.

“I think he’s been really proactive in his footwork and the way he has approached the game.”

D’Oliveira is also delighted with the make-up of the five pronged Worcestershire seam attack.

He said: “The make-up of the attack is something we looked at in the winter and Ashley (Giles) and Alan (Richardson) have recruited really well, especially with the overseas players.

“It just gives us a really nice balance to our team to be able to play those five seamers and also lengthens our batting order as well.

“It looks nice on paper but we’ve got to go out there and perform, and hopefully we can do that at Trent Bridge on Friday.”