Sunday, May 23rd, 2021


Worcestershire CCC went down by an innings and 170 runs after losing 14 wickets on the final day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Apart from the mini sessions of play on the opening day, Worcestershire came off second best throughout this game against a Luke Fletcher inspired Nottinghamshire.

They were bowled out for 80 in 32.5 overs the first innings and followed on 320 runs behind.

Opener Jake Libby provided staunch resistance against his former county and top-scored with 64 in the second innings.

Libby also passed 600 Championship runs for the season with his third fifty in addition to two centuries.

There was also a fighting and knock from Brett D’Oliveira (31), who battled it out for the best part of two hours.

But the remainder of the batting was on the receiving end of some high-quality bowling from Fletcher, who finished with career-best match figures of 24-7-57-10, and England fast bowler Stuart Broad as Nottinghamshire dismissed them for 150 in 57.4 overs.

It was a mixture of relentless accuracy from Fletcher and aggressive bowling from Broad with good support from Dane Paterson, who took four of the last five wickets, and Lyndon James.

Worcestershire will be seeking an upturn in performance levels in all departments during the finale to the Group One programme after also under-achieving with the ball during this rain-affected fixture as Nottinghamshire scored 400-5.

Their final three group games are all at New Road – starting with Derbyshire on Thursday.

Worcestershire resumed on 53-6, and the remaining four first-innings wickets fell for 27 runs in 15.5 overs this morning.

Fletcher, who had picked up five wickets in Saturday evening’s new-ball spell, added two more scalps in successive overs.

Nightwatchman Josh Tongue (7) nicked an outswinger to keeper Tom Moores, and then Alzarri Joseph (4) drove at a delivery and departed in the same fashion.

Keeper Ben Cox (19) battled away for 61 balls but then drove at a widish delivery from Stuart Broad and provided Moores with his third catch of the day.

Club Captain Joe Leach (seven not out) survived one chance to Joe Clarke at first slip off Fletcher, but the innings ended when Dillon Pennington (4) was taken at second slip by Ben Duckett to give Broad his third wicket.

Fletcher finished with figures of 16-6-37-7 and Broad 13.5-4-28-3.

Worcestershire followed on 35 minutes before lunch with a minimum of 78 overs to negotiate.

Daryl Mitchell had a let-off on one when Haseeb Hameed dropped a chance at third slip off Fletcher.

But he had not added to his score when edging another fine swinging Fletcher delivery into the hands of Moores.

Rain meant an early lunch, and Libby and Tom Fell made encouraging progress after the break.

Libby leg glanced Broad just out of reach of keeper Moores and then went back to drive Lyndon James through the covers to the ropes.

A similar stroke by Libby off Paterson completed a half-century stand from 102 balls.

Worcestershire reached 63-1, but Fletcher came back into the attack and claimed two wickets in the space of three balls to take his tally to 10 in the game.

Fell on 13 from 59 balls clipped a delivery to Ben Slater at short leg and then Jack Haynes (0) was caught and bowled.

Libby brought up an excellent fifty from just 60 balls with his seventh boundary.

Broad returned to the attack and bowled a hostile spell, and both Libby and Brett D’Oliveira had to contend with some testing short-pitched deliveries.

D’Oliveira greeted slow left armer Liam Patterson-White with two pulls for four in an over cost 11 runs.

But Broad ended Libby’s fine knock on 64 when he clipped a ball off leg stump, and Dane Paterson held onto a low chance diving forward at square leg.

Worcestershire went into tea at 114-4 with D’Oliveira unbeaten on 26 and 41 overs remaining.

Riki Wessels cut Paterson for four but on 10 attempted a similar shot against James and fell to a fine catch away to his right by Duckett at second slip at 124-5.

Cox (0) went leg before to Paterson five runs later, and D’Oliveira’s resistance spanning 88 balls was ended by the same bowler when he was caught off a leading edge at mid-off.

Broad had Joseph (4) caught behind down the legside, and Paterson struck again when knocking out the off stump of Tongue (6).

It was all over when Leach (7) was lbw to Pennington with 18.2 overs to spare.

*Worcestershire Under-18s 50 over friendly against Shropshire Under-18s at Barnt Green today was abandoned without a ball being bowled.