Monday, July 17th, 2023


Pace bowler Harry Darley will be looking to continue his impressive form for Worcestershire Seconds when they take on Glamorgan in a Championship match starting at New Road on Monday (July 17).

Darley, a member of the 2022-2023 Academy intake, picked up his first five-for for the Seconds in their away win over Northamptonshire earlier this month.

The 18-year-old was given the new ball in last week’s encounter with Lancashire at Crosby and again created a favourable impression.

Now he will have the opportunity along with other youngsters such as Joe Stanley, Henry Cullen and Olly Cox to play at New Road.

Assistant Coach Richard Jones said: “Harry is someone who has impressed me everytime I’ve seen him really.

“A different type of bowler, he is a bit short and skiddy, but because he has got a big angle and is still widish on the crease, his natural shape is still to go into the right hander.

“As a batter, it feels like he is always at you, but he also has the ability to take the ball away from the right hander.

“The language from our lads who have faced him indoors in the winter is that he is not nice to face and he actually is deceptively quick and hits the bat quite hard.

“When he does hold his lengths for long periods, he is very threatening because he attacks both edges and it was great to see him do so well.

“To get his first five-for, as an Academy lad, was a big step up and he impressed again against Lancashire when we gave him the new ball and was really accurate.

“He has also been bowling consistently well on Saturdays for Shrewsbury and is someone very much going in the right direction.”

Jones added: “It is always a good experience when you play at a county ground. Most of the young lads wouldn’t have had many opportunities to play at New Road so far.

“It is a great opportunity for the likes of Harry and Joe Stanley.”

Reeve Evitts will be absent through a shin injury while Cameron Jones is part of the Midlands team in the Super Fours at Loughborough.

Jones says it was beneficial for Worcestershire’s young players to experience pressure cricket on the final day of the match with Lancashire.

After the loss of the opening two days, Worcestershire bowled out the home side for 251 and then opened up the possibility of a meaningful final day by declaring on 59-1.

They were eventually set a 295 target and a see-saw final day saw Lancashire win by 21 runs but there were plenty of positives and also lessons to learn which will only stand players in good stead.

Jones said: “We did the right thing in the end having lost the first two days. To make that last day competitive, and put something on it for both teams, was the right thing to do we felt.

“We could have easily just played the game out and the lads could have just spent some time in the middle and not been under that much pressure.

“Hopefully we did the right thing for the game and everyone involved and the lads will gain more benefit from playing pressure cricket.

“It was a very good game and unfortunately we weren’t quite able to get over the line but lots of positives to take from the game.”

Olly Cox followed up his 127 not out against Gloucestershire in the SEC match at Stourport by top-scoring with 90 and keeper-batter Henry Cullen made 72 as the pair rescued Worcestershire from 39-4 with a stand of 161.

Jones said: “By declaring as well, we had an opportunity to put a few things right in the field.

“We didn’t get it quite right on that first day. Our fielding intensity and energy levels weren’t up to scratch. The fact we declared gave them an opportunity to put that right straight away which they did and responded well.

“They prepared much better in the morning and that’s something I’m very keen for them to make sure they maintain going through the rest of the season.

“Also, it was a bit of an up and down chase and so to experience that as young players is very beneficial.

“We saw a great partnership between Olly Cox and Henry Cullen in a very tricky situation at 39-4, a partnership of 161 in very quick time was very beneficial to those guys and put us in a great position.

“But then unfortunately both got out pretty quickly and that in itself is a learning opportunity. For us to win that game, one of those two had to be not out.

“Two relatively soft dismissals as well so definitely an area for those guys to think and reflect on and be better for next time.

“Olly was very dominant and positive against spin which is probably his big strength. There were still a couple of areas where maybe he got exposed a little bit, where he needs to keep working hard.

“But the turnaround that he has been able to do from where he was in the first couple of months is really pleasing to see. Hopefully he is starting to get more and more confident with every game.

“Henry is very reliable, very smart, has high cricket intelligence so he works out things quite naturally and quite quickly.

“Something for Henry to think about and work on moving forward is how he turns 60s, 70s and 80s into 110 not out to win us games.

“But he is developing well. He’s had a great year and was impressive in the T20s and his keeping looks tidy and he is one that has definitely impressed so far this year.”