Friday, June 17th, 2022


Henry Cullen led a superb rearguard action by Worcestershire Seconds, who battled through the final day of their Second Eleven Championship match with Leicestershire to earn a draw at Barnt Green.

The keeper-batter defied the Leicestershire attack for six and a half hours, 109 overs and a total of 314 balls for his unbeaten 77.

It was an immense demonstration of concentration from the promising Cullen to secure the eight points available for a share of the spoils after Worcestershire followed on 389 runs behind.

His efforts, backed up by triallist century-maker Jordan Neil, Cameron Jones and Mitchell Stanley, enabled Worcestershire to close on 343-7 from 148 overs after they had resumed on 171-4.

Neil began the day on 86 and reached three figures off 161 balls with 20 fours.

He struck four more boundaries and added 78 for the fifth wicket with Cullen before he was lbw to Freddie Fallows on 126 with the total 229-5.

Cullen, who had resumed on four not out, proved impossible to dislodge for the Leicestershire bowlers.

Ollie Walker (10) kept him company for 16 overs before he was leg before to Ed Barnes but then came the crucial partnership with Jones.

They put on 69 but most importantly used up nearly 46 overs before Jones, having made 28 off 153 balls, became another lbw victim, this time to Gavin Griffiths.

The final hour began immediately after his dismissal in the 132nd over but Cullen was given more sterling support by Mitchell Stanley.

The pace bowler faced 45 balls for his four not out and he helped Cullen to ensure Worcestershire held on for a splendid draw.

Kevin Sharp, who helped oversee the game as Kadeer Ali was on duty with the first team at Durham, said: “It was a fine knock by Jordan who came recommended by Phil Neale.

“He has played a lovely innings, he can bowl and fields well. It is encouraging.

“Henry has done really well. He is a very smart cricketer. He knows how to play one-day cricket, with the momentum that is needed, but also when he has got to dig in and be resilient, as was the case here.

“It has been a great test for the lads and this is why we needed to play four day cricket in the Seconds, so they can get used to similar scenarios in the first team.

“They have fought really hard to earn a draw.”