Friday, April 9th, 2021

CHARLIE’S 200TH SCALP AND LIBBY DEFIANT AFTER LOSS OF EARLY WICKETS

Charlie Morris claimed the 200th first-class wicket of his career as Worcestershire again battled hard with the ball on day two of the LV-County Championship match with Essex at Chelmsford before losing a trio of wickets in reply.

Paceman Morris reached the personal milestone with his third wicket of the innings when Jake Libby caught Ben Allison (13) on the deep mid-wicket boundary.

Leg spinner Brett D’Oliveira enjoyed his longest ever bowl in first-class cricket, a total of 36.4 overs in the innings, and, like Morris and Barnard, ended with three wickets.

The County attack maintained their discipline and accuracy on a good batting surface for five and a half sessions of hard-fought red ball cricket – despite a splendid double hundred from Tom Westley โ€“ right up to the declaration at 490-9 in 157.4 overs.

Essex paceman Sam Cook struck three times after Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Libby put on 32.

Mitchell (16) was bowled before Tom Fell (0), and Gareth edged the same bowler to Simon Harmer and Westley at second and third slip, respectively.

But Libby remained defiant and will resume tomorrow morning on 21, not out with Worcestershire 43-3.

Essex began today on 207-3, and Morris and Club Captain Joe Leach shared the second new ball and immediately troubled Westley and Paul Walter.

Walter was fortunate to inside edge Morris to the fine leg boundary, and he and Leach constantly beat the bat.

Westley eventually brought up his century with two off Morris backward of square, and it came off 236 balls and 15 fours.

Barnard also asked serious questions of the fourth wicket pair and made the breakthrough with his third wicket of the innings.

Walter (38) nicked a testing delivery, and Daryl Mitchell at second slip held onto a fine low catch away to his left to end a partnership of 124.

Westley was joined by Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored briskly from the start of his innings.

Barnard consistently beat both batsmen and one superb delivery nipped back between Westley’s pads and the stumps on its way through to keeper Ben Cox.

D’Oliveira replaced him after a morning spell of 7-1-16-1.
D’Oliveira quickly settled into his rhythm and was rewarded with the penultimate ball of the 110th over which bonus points can be accumulated.

Ten Doeschate (30) pushed forward to a looping delivery and was trapped lbw at 304-5.

Leach continued to rotate the bowlers during the afternoon session, and Westley went onto complete his 150 off 313 balls with a single off D’Oliveira.

Barnard came back for a spell before tea and again provided a testing examination for Westley. When on 179, he attempted to withdraw the bat and edged just short of Riki Wessels at slip.

Wheater reached his half-century when he nicked a Barnard delivery for four before Westley completed his 200 off 381 balls in eight and a half hour with 30 boundaries.

D’Oliveira finally ended Westley’s fine knock on 213 as he went down the wicket and holed out to Barnard at wide long-on after adding 157 with Wheater.

Morris’s efforts were rewarded in the next over as Simon Harmer (1) went lbw and wicket 200 followed shortly afterwards with Allison’s dismissal.

When D’Oliveira had Wheater (87) caught by Barnard at deep mid-wicket, the declaration immediately followed.

The final bowling figures were Leach 29-5-90-0, Pennington 27-3-91-0, Morris 22-5-67-1, Barnard 27-6-67-3, D’Oliveira 36.4-6-95-3, Mitchell 4-0-20-0 and Libby 7-0-22-0.

When Worcestershire batted, 26 overs remained, and Mitchell survived a chance to keeper Wheater off the second delivery from Jamie Porter.

Libby turned Sam Cook through backward point for his first boundary, and Mitchell off drove the same bowler for four before the trio of late wickets.