Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Day One Highlights & Report | Worcestershire v Surrey

Worcestershire handed Vitality County Championship debuts to a trio of players on a challenging opening day against leaders and champions Surrey at Visit Worcestershire New Road.

Tom Taylor, Ethan Brookes and loanee Shoaib Bashir all received their caps before the start of play for injury-hit Worcestershire.

Club captain Brett D’Oliveira and pace duo Joe Leach, Ben Gibbon and Yadvinder Singh were all ruled out while Nathan Smith was rested.

Taylor, who took the new ball, and England spinner Bashir both picked up a wicket and the Worcestershire attack stuck to its task with loanee Ben Allison and Matthew Waite the pick of the bowlers.

But a powerful Surrey batting line-up amassed 340-5 from 96 overs after they were put into bat by Worcestershire red ball vice-captain, Jake Libby, on a rock-hard pitch.

Tom Taylor’s younger brother, James Taylor, a right arm fast medium bowler, made his first Championship appearance for Surrey since April 2022.

Tom Taylor took the new ball and struck with the third ball of the morning as Surrey captain Rory Burns turned a delivery straight to Bashir at mid wicket.

Ollie Pope looked in good form and picked up a couple of boundaries but he then gave Allison the charge and nicked through to Adam Hose at first slip.

Allison, on loan from Essex, bowled an excellent opening spell of 7-3-10-1.

But runs started to come freely from the bat of Dom Sibley and Jamie Smith and the 100 came up in 27.2 overs.

Allison bowled another probing post-lunch spell and Sibley edged just short of second slip.

Waite again also asked questions of both batters but Sibley and Smith were determined to survive and reached their fifty off 108 and 103 balls respectively.

Taylor returned and induced a false stroke out of Smith who edged wide of first slip for four.

The stand was worth 149 in 40 overs when Bashir broke the stand as Sibley (76) picked out Hose at short mid wicket.

Smith (86) departed in similar manner with again Hose the catcher after Finch came into the attack.

But Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes upped the tempo during the final session after playing themselves in up until tea.

Finch came close to breaking the stand when Foakes on 31 was dropped at deep mid wicket low down.

But the pace bowler was rewarded when Foakes (52) fell to a fourth catch of the innings by Hose, low to his right at first slip to end a stand of 131 with Lawrence.

Worcestershire Assistant Head Coach, Kadeer Ali, said: “A long day in the field, a tough day for the boys but I thought in general we bowled okay.

“I thought the first hour and a half we bowled quite nicely, probably not as well just before lunch, but we regrouped. Overall, a tough day but pleased with how the boys performed today.

“Ben Allison impressed on loan. He was excellent today. He had a month with us last year and knows the boys really well.

“He bowled a really good length on this wicket, especially in the first hour or so, and his figures at just over one run an over were excellent.

“Matthew Waite was also very disciplined and over the last three or four Championship matches he has bowled beautifully.

“There was some great catching from Adam (Hose). He was struggling with his hand a little bit before the T20 campaign started so great to see him catching well.”