Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Highlights & Report | Worcestershire v Surrey Day Three

Kashif Ali and Gareth Roderick led a Worcestershire fightback after they were forced to follow on by champions Surrey in the Vitality County Championship match at Visit Worcestershire New Road.

But the visitors are still favourites to complete victory on the final day after a flurry of late evening wickets.

Kashif and Roderick joined forces at 33-1 in Worcestershire’s second innings and put on 135 for the second wicket in 34 overs.

It was an impressive effort to raise hopes of being able to collect a draw against the current Division One leaders.

But Roderick eventually fell for 63, Kashif followed soon afterwards for 66 with both players now in sights of 500 runs for the season, and then Rob Jones and Ethan Brookes were dismissed.

Worcestershire will resume tomorrow on 207-5, needing another 71 to make Surrey bat again.

They began the day on 147-7 and provided strong morning session resistance through top scorer Jake Libby, Ben Allison and Adam Finch.

It ensured Surrey had to wait until right on the verge of lunch to force the follow on.

The resistance was equally as strong during the afternoon session from Gareth Roderick and Kashif Ali as Worcestershire attempted to wipe off arrears of 278 and make the visitors bat again.

England spin bowling coach, Jeetan Patel, was at New Road and put Shoaib Bashir, on loan to Worcestershire from Somerset, and Dan Lawrence through their paces before the start of play.

Worcestershire resumed on 147 for seven and Jake Libby rocked back to cut Lawrence for four and bring up the 50 partnership with Ben Allison.

Allison (21), having added 54 for the ninth wicket with Jake Libby, pushed forward to the spinner and edged to Surrey captain Rory Burns at slip.

Libby produced another cut to the boundary at Lawrence’s expense and new batter Adam Finch cover drove the spinner to the ropes.

Adam Finch provided Libby with staunch support during a stand of 15 overs before the latter’s five hour resistance came to an end.

He was on the receiving end of a fine delivery from Gus Atkinson which left him and Foakes gobbled up a fifth catch of the innings.

The innings was wrapped up when Shoaib Bashir pulled James Taylor to square leg to leave Finch unbeaten on 27 spanning 71 balls.

The final three wickets held out for 43 overs – the same as the first seven dismissals.

When Worcestershire followed on, Libby did the bulk of the early scoring.

He cover drove Taylor, cut Dan Worrall and pulled Sean Abbott for boundaries but after making 28 out of 33 he went to drive and was bowled via the inside edge by Jordan Clarke.

Roderick and Kashif Ali battled away for the second wicket in the face of some accurate bowling.

Taylor was cover drove for four by Roderick and cut to the ropes by the same batter but there were the signs of the occasional delivery taking off from the Diglis End and causing problems.

The second wicket pair carried the total to 115-1 by tea.

Roderick was first to his half century off 114 balls with seven fours and just ahead of Kashif whose fifty was completed off 85 balls.

The century partnership was completed off 167 balls but the two batters fell in quick succession.

Roderick (63) edged Clark and was caught low down at slip and then Kashif (66) went to pull Atkinson and lobbed up a catch to square leg.

Jones (0) fell to a diving catch by Foakes off Clark from a delivery that was too full to attempt a cut.

Ethan Brookes nicked through to Foakes when trying to force Abbott off the back foot – his eighth catch of the match.

Worcestershire batter, Gareth Roderick, said: “It was a long day. We’ve been behind the game since day one. We are trying to hang in there and make it as tough as we can for them.

“We are where we are. We’ve got to keep fighting and hopefully carry on fighting tomorrow.

“It is that type of wicket that is quite difficult to get started on. The boys at the lower end of the order did great in the first innings.

“It has given us a slight chance for tomorrow to try and hold on for as long as we can.

“They are a quality side, a quality bowling attack and they made it really hard for us on a wicket that a little bit too offer.

“When you see them get as many runs as they do, you think you should do the same. Just disappointed myself and Kashif couldn’t carry on.

“The pitch is a pretty good cricket wicket. We were off the pace with the batting in the first innings. First innings runs against sides like Surrey are crucial.”

It will be FREE ENTRY for spectators on day four.