Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Clarke Says County Can Push For Victory After Wonder Catch Denies Him Ton

Clarke Says County Can Push For Victory After Wonder Catch Denies Him Ton

Worcestershire batsmen Joe Clarke admitted to being "gutted" at missing out on a fifth hundred of the season via a wonder catch by Glamorgan's Lukas Carey but feels his side can push for victory on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.

Clarke was on 98 when he pulled a delivery from Graham Wagg which appeared to be heading for a six until Carey at full stretch plucked a one-handed catch out of the sky at deep backward square.

The England Lions player top scored as Worcestershire amassed 393 all out and then picked up the wicket of Glamorgan opener Nick Selman by the close.

Glamorgan will resume on 16-1 in pursuit of their 277 target with another scorching hot day lying in store for Joe Leach and the other County bowlers on a still good batting surface.

Clarke said: "We would be happy with the day and how it has gone. Looking on, the game is in the balance at the moment but we back ourselvesIves.

"Obviously there will be a result tomorrow and hopefully we will be on the right end of it.

"It is a good wicket. I would say it has got the capability to turn. Their spinner didn't get much turn but the rough is not in a great position for him.

"But certainly for the left-handers, Dolly (Brett D'Oliveira) will be quite threatening. Hopefully the seamers will mix it around tomorrow and Dolly can maybe settle in at one end and find the rough and hopefully turn a few."

Clarke played in controlled fashion after the loss of two early wckets – Tom Fell (65) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) – reduced Worcestershire to 152-4 and praised the contribution of the lower order.

He said: "It was one of the less fluent innings that I've played this year. I had to really dig in and almost put a few shots away.

"It was a shame we lost two early wickets today. Myself and Felly (Tom Fell) had done the hard work last night and got us into a reasonable position this morning to kick on and build something and get a good lead.

"The main thing with us is we have got a couple of lads who are not in as much good form as they would like and even with them not getting any runs in that top six or seven, we still know we've got Leachy, Barny, Shants, even Moz showing he can hold a bat.

"We definitely know we've got the lads down the order who can chip in.

"Leachy has been fantastic for us this year. He has always come in in situations when we have needed him to get some runs and he has always chipped in and that was a valuable 65.

"Hopefully he has got his bowling boots on tomorrow and knocks a few over."

As for Carey's catch. Clarke said: "It's mother cricket because at Cardiff when I got a hundred, I got dropped off a caught and bowled by Waggy (Graham Wagg), an absolute sitter.

"Today the lad at fine leg has taken a really good catch.

"It is just one of those things. I was gutted not to get a big score because I felt I was 'in' and I was hoping I could get a big score for the team but it wasn't to be.

"I saw the catch. I watched it all the way. I thought at one stage 'that's fine', the ball is going to beat him and I didn't think he was going to get close.

"Then as he was running around I thought 'he is getting close to this' and the way he caught it, is one of those things. He stuck a hand out and it has just slapped straight in."