Friday, June 9th, 2017

Cox: Josh Spell “one Of The Best I Have Kept Wicket To”

Cox: Josh Spell “one Of The Best I Have Kept Wicket To”

Ben Cox was lavish in his praise of Worcestershire paceman Josh Tongue after his five wicket burst tilted the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match at New Road in the home side's favour.

Cox led a recovery from 14-3 with a fine 93 from just 99 balls with 15 boundaries in his elevated number five role as Worcestershire reached 267 all out.

Then Tongue followed up his 5-45 at the SWALEC Stadium in the opening game of the season with five wickets in the space of 20 balls as Glamorgan closed on 76-6.

Cox said: "That is honestly one of the best spells of bowling that I have kept to.

"Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) said down at Glamorgan that there are going to be times Josh has those spells where he clicks, hits the zone regularly and today it came off.

"For someone of his age, to do what he does, stack an area consistently, shape it late and at the pace he does….look around the country and there are not many players like him.

"It is good for us. You can see what his potential is, what he is capable of. It is a good start for Tonguey and it is good he is fit and playing and bowling week in and week out."

Tongue had also contributed an invaluable 41 with the bat after Cox and Ed Barnard (60) had led the fightback.

Cox said: "He is a very good player, very strong off the front foot and he showed that today on a slow wicket.

"He almost kind of bullied the medium pacers. He is a strong lad and hits through the line and got some crucial runs for us today."

Cox was tagged Mr Reliable last season by Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes and he put a challenging start to the campaign with the bat behind him by taking the attack to the Glamorgan bowlers.

He said: "It was a shaky start this morning, going in at 17-3 especially the way I've been seeing the ball recently.

"But on a wicket like that it sometimes suits my game to go out there and try and put the pressure back on them and fortunately today some of my edges came off and didn't go to hand.

"It is quite easy on those sort of pitches for bowlers to get into a rhythm and find their lengths easily.

"It was Clarkey who mentioned it (taking the attack to the bowlers) because I was struggling to get myself going really, trying to get my feet going, just purely lack of form.

"It actually got me going and their lengths dropped, which fed into my cut (shot). It was a plan that sort of came off."

Cox fell to a stunning catch at gulley by Andrew Salter seven short of a third first class ton but was delighted to have helped the team recover.

He said: "It was a good catch and he took a good one off Ross (Whiteley) as well. It is what it is.

"You know me, it's 93 from a position where we were really struggling so that is first and foremost, that we got out of that position, and we are in a good position now.

"To be honest, 200 from where we were gives you a chance of taking some early wickets but 260, we couldn't be happier really."

*New Road will be open from 8am tomorrow (Saturday) for spectators wanting to watch the Crusaders versus British and Irish Lions rugby match.

The match will be shown in the Graeme Hick Pavilion for members and The Sports Bar for non-members. Kick off is at 8.35am.