Monday, September 12th, 2016

Cox Aiming To Surpass 2015 Run Tally After Sparking County Recovery

Cox Aiming To Surpass 2015 Run Tally After Sparking County Recovery

Ben Cox has set his sights on surpassing last season's tally of 778 County Championship runs after leading a Worcestershire fightback on day one of the clash with Sussex at Hove.

Cox hit an aggressive 69 as he took the attack to the Sussex bowlers in the post tea session with spinner Danny Briggs struck for three sixes by the Worcestershire wicket-keeper.

The last three wickets added 128 runs in 24 overs as Worcestershire reached 306 all out before Miguel Cummins took three wickets to reduce Sussex to 50-4.

Cox now has scored 696 Championship runs this summer at an average of 36.63.

He told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "The season has been okay (with the bat). I was more disappointed to get out in the manner I did there because my target at the start of the season was to average 40.

"I just want to make sure I had a better season than I did last season. I think I'm close to what I did last year so it is going well."

Cox admitted taking the challenge to Briggs had been discussed during the tea interval.

He said: "We spoke about it because the seam bowlers were more of a handful than Briggs was and I said I'd like to go after the spin, try and get a quick 30 and see where we go from there.

"The aim was to put Briggs under a bit of pressure so they would have to go back to their seamers who would have to bowl more overs.

"It was more instinct. I was just trying to pick gaps but it was there to go over the top so I just went with it."

Cox praised the contributions of Ed Barnard (30) and Miguel Cummins whose 25 included a flat-batted six straight back over the head of bowler Jofra Archer.

He said: "That was Jos Buttleresque, to back away and slap the bowler back over his head for a six.

"It was unbelievable for a number 10. I said if you get 30 we'll get to a good total over 300. You try and rotate the strike with your tail but he said 'you give me the strike.'

"Barny played really well. It is hard for Barny because he is a proper batter and at times like myself, you start losing wickets and you feel a bit more responsibility not to get out because you know you are the last one (batsman) left.

"But Barny played beautifully and there were some proper shots there. He played a great hand in a decent partnership."

Cox believes Worcestershire are well placed to push on tomorrow after the late clatter of Sussex wickets.

He said: "We had two wickets down pretty early and then there was a decent partnership between Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) and Clarkey (Joe Clarke) and then we lost quick wickets again.

"Everything happened in clusters, even us at the end there, which is good because the game is moving forward. I'm just glad we got a good score on the board in the end.

"Miguel (Cummins) had great rhythm coming down the hill and, as soon as they turn the lights on, it just started to do a bit more off the wicket. It tends to happen, that was the case tonight and he bowled beautifully.

"Leachy (Joe Leach) got the big pole of (Chris) Nash at the top of the order. Everyone has chipped in and Barny started nicely there with the ball and it bodes well for tomorrow morning."