Tuesday, September 7th, 2021


Ed Barnard and Joe Leach provided stubborn resistance as Worcestershire went down fighting to Kent on the third morning of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at Canterbury.

The eighth-wicket pair batted with positive intent and put on 56 in 13 overs.

Barnard took his run tally for the campaign to 666 at an average of 55.50 – a total only bettered by Jake Libby amongst the Worcestershire side.

Leach made his second sizeable contribution with the bat in the game to add to his excellent bowling and remained unbeaten on 49 from 54 balls with ten boundaries.

The last four wickets added 113 runs in nearly two hours today before Worcestershire were bowled out for 204 to lose by an innings and 56 runs.

It was a game in which Worcestershire were always facing an uphill challenge once they had been put in to bat and were on the receiving end of some high-class new ball bowling from Matt Milnes.

The Worcestershire new ball attack of Leach and Dillon Pennington caused plenty of problems, and young spinner Josh Baker impressed.

But the pressure was not sustained by the entire bowling unit, and Kent were able to build a substantial lead and then pressed home their advantage.

Worcestershire had to be content with three bowling bonus points to take their overall points tally to 41.5 in the competition.

Now they will be looking to respond in a positive fashion with a trip to Lord’s to face Middlesex beginning on Sunday.

Worcestershire resumed on 91-6, and Barnard off drove the opening delivery of the day from Nathan Gilchrist for two.

The England Lions all-rounder then produced a handsome stroke off Matt Milnes through the covers for four, and the 100 came up in 37.5 overs.

But Ben Cox (2), top scorer with 41 not out in Worcestershire’s first innings, pushed forward and was lbw to Milnes for two.

Leach had played well for 38 on day one and again looked to take the attack to the Kent attack.

He cover-drove and off-drove Milnes for boundaries, and Barnard pulled Gilchrist to fine leg for another four, although he was fortunate to slash the same bowler through the slips to third man.

Darren Stevens replaced Milnes, and he was smashed through off-side by Leach, and then Gilchrist received similar treatment.

The 50 partnership between Barnard and Leach came up off only 57 balls.

Barnard moved onto an excellent 44 from 92 balls with five fours when he was lbw to Grant Stewart with a delivery which nipped back and kept a little low.

Baker (1) had his off stump uprooted by a delivery angled in by Darren Stevens.

Leach continued to score freely, and he collected three boundaries in an over from Stevens to move into the 40s.

Last man Pennington turned Stewart through mid-wicket for three to bring up the 200 in the 58th over.

The game finished when Pennington (13) edged Gilchrist to Zak Crawley, who held onto a low catch at first slip.