Friday, April 13th, 2018

Dolly Looking To Carry Caribbean Form Into County Opener

Brett D’Oliveira says carrying his fine form for the North and then the MCC in the Caribbean into Worcestershire’s opening game of the season is at the forefront of his mind rather than England ambitions.

D’Oliveira put together scores of 43, 79 and 17 batting in the middle order for the North – plus a wicket in each game – in the 2-1 series win over the South.

Then he chipped in with a useful 30 as opener for MCC in their innings success over Champion County Essex in the traditional curtain raiser to the new domestic campaign.

The all-rounder makes no secret of his desire to play for his country but all his thoughts are focused on the Specsavers County Championship opener with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl starting today (Friday).

D’Oliveira said: “I really enjoyed it out there, had some good hits and it was good to spend some time in the middle and hopefully I can take that into the next game – at Hampshire.

“Was I aware the England selectors were watching? I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because they were around and about so it was nice to get runs in front of those people.

“But more importantly it was nice to get runs for myself and to take that confidence into the first game will be a real plus for me.

”I really want to go on and play for England if I can but it’s something |I’m not really thinking about.

“I’m just thinking about the next game for Worcestershire because I know if I score runs for Worcestershire I’ll hopefully go on and play where I want to play.

“But that’s not in the forefront of my mind. I’m just thinking about the next game for Worcestershire which is Hampshire on Friday.”

The North had been beaten 3-0 in the inaugural series with the South 12 months ago and lost the opening game this time around.

But a man of the series performance from D’Oliveira’s County team-mate, Joe Clarke, including a century in the final game, enabled the North to hit back and triumph.

D’Oliveira said: “It was a great series win. We had gone 1-0 down and the year before the South took it 3-0. There was some good rivalry but friendly rivalry over there and it was nice to take the series.

“Joe played really well. I think he had a tough winter with the England Lions and conditions were a lot different over there to what they are probably used to over here.

“That was a challenge for them and I think it was nice for Joe to play with confidence and freedom and get those runs for the North.”