Saturday, May 15th, 2021


Joe Leach is looking for Worcestershire CCC to make amends with the ball for their first innings performance when Durham resume their second innings on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at the Emirates Riverside.

Club Captain Leach felt Durham were “over par” with their total of 246 after being put into bat on Thursday.

Worcestershire battled away to total 213 in reply against a high quality attack and earn a vital batting bonus point.

Tom Fell (44) and Leach (42 not out) were the major contributors although the sterling support of Josh Tongue and Charlie Morris meant the last two wickets added 87.

Durham reached 79-1 – an overall advantage of 112 – by the half-way stage of the game and Leach is looking for his bowlers to claw Worcestershire back into the hunt.

He said: “It was exceptional cricket and both umpires came off at lunch-time and said ‘that was proper cricket.’

“Durham have a high class bowling attack, containing an England bowler and some star county names, and I thought our boys played exceptionally well.

“They bowled ‘A1’ and our boys stuck at it remarkably well and for us to get up to 200 in the end was actually a really solid effort.

“Yesterday (Thursday), we feel they were over par with the way we bowled and we have probably ended up about par so we’ve got about 40 runs to make up in the third and fourth innings.

“If you look back at our dismissals, I don’t think there is a soft one in there which is a testament to the way the guys batted.

“It has probably highlighted a few of our shortcomings with the ball yesterday (Thursday) if I’m brutally honest. It is up to us to go into Saturday and try and put things right.”

Leach feels there is still enough in the pitch for the bowlers and that wickets will continue to fall in groups.

He said: “The pitch is still doing it albeit a fraction slower. Batsmen were able to adjust to the moving ball a bit better than first thing in the morning.

“Wickets are falling in clusters. The pitch looks okay for a while and then ‘bang, bang, bang’ and that’s what we’ve got to hope for on Saturday.

“I’m sure it will if we put the ball in the right areas and in between we’ve got to control the scoring rate and make sure we have got a total we can chase in the fourth innings.”