Friday, June 4th, 2021

COUNTY FACE UPHILL STRUGGLE DESPITE MAXIMUM BOWLING POINTS AND LIBBY HALF-CENTURY

Worcestershire CCC are facing an uphill battle despite fighting back to claim maximum bowling points and a Jake Libby half-century on day two of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at New Road.

Six wickets went down for 76 runs in the space of 22 overs as Durham were bowled out for 381 in their first innings after being 305-4 at one stage.

Josh Tongue ended with 4-73, and there were two wickets apiece for Club Captain Joe Leach and Dillon Pennington.

It was a contrast to a disappointing morning session in which they failed to take a wicket, and David Bedingham completed his third century of the campaign.

His efforts enabled the visitors to establish a first-innings lead of 250, and then Daryl Mitchell, Tom Fell and Gareth Roderick were dismissed before the close when Libby was unbeaten on 51 out of 99-3.

Tongue bowled a lively opening spell this morning in which Bedingham needed treatment after being struck in the ribs, and the batsman also survived a confident lbw shout against Joe Leach.

But otherwise, he and Jones were relatively untroubled and completed fifties off 84 and 116 balls, respectively.

It was a different proposition for batting once Worcestershire had taken the second new ball and Leach made the breakthrough when Jones (78) pushed forward and edged through to keeper Ben Cox.

Bedingham brought up his century โ€“ from 154 balls with two sixes and 11 fours โ€“ when he turned Pennington off his legs for two.

But Jack Burnham on nine had no answer to a lifting, pacey delivery from Pennington and the nick was taken head high by Cox in superb fashion.

Ned Eckersley edged a Leach away swinger to give Cox a third catch in a row after making eight, and Brydon Carse had only a single to his name when he cut Pennington to Ed Barnard, who held a sharp chance at point.

Tongue brought Bedinghamโ€™s fine knock to an end on 121 when he was lbw working the ball to leg. He batted for a total of 183 balls and hit two sixes and 13 fours.

Barnard wrapped the innings up when Ben Raine, after a quickfire 16, holed out to deep-backward square.

Matthew Potts made a breakthrough for Durham with Daryl Mitchell (2) falling to a superb reflex catch in the gulley region by Carse.

Libby looked in good form and greeted the introduction of Ben Raine with three boundaries in an over.

Fell also was composed at the crease and the second wicket pair fluently added 67 in just 15 overs.

Potts returned to the attack and had Fell leg before for 21, and Chris Rushworth bowled Roderick for nought.

The prolific Libby completed yet another half-century off 86 balls with a single against Carse. It contained seven boundaries.