Sunday, August 18th, 2019



Ed Barnard believes Worcestershire are capable of “getting on a roll” during the finishing straight of their Specsavers County Championship programme.

The all-rounder was part of the side which won the final four games to gain promotion to Division One in the 2017 season.

It will take a sizeable effort from now until the end of September to repeat that feat.

But Barnard says they have the players capable of coming out on top against any opposition as they strive to make a late push for a top three position.

The County visit Northamptonshire today (Sunday) and have home matches against Gloucestershire and Glamorgan in September before ending the campaign against Sussex at Hove.

He said: “You never know, if we could win three, or four of these games, we could still have a chance of going up which is the big aim we had at the start of the year.

“There is no reason why we can’t. If you look at the league, it is very close from third downwards.

“With this team, if we can get on a roll, we can beat anyone in the league so they are four massive opportunities for us.

“We just need to make sure we start well against Northamptonshire. If we can get a win there, hopefully it will set us up for the rest of the season.”

Barnard has clicked into form with the ball during recent Championship games after not having the tangible rewards he felt his performances warranted earlier on in the campaign.

He now has 31 scalps – two behind Joe Leach and Charlie Morris – and has a chance still to reach the 50 mark which just eluded him in the previous two campaigns when he ended with 47 and 49 wickets.

Barnard said: “It was a bit frustrating, the first few games. I felt I was bowling okay but I didn’t really take the wickets that I would have liked to.

“But in the last few games, it’s been nice to get some wickets. It’s just a shame we didn’t manage to win one, maybe two of those games that we should have really won.

“It would take a quite a big effort to get there (50 wickets). If I get near, it would be brilliant but just to see if we could win as many of these last four games is the priority really.”

Barnard was given a break from action and the best part of a week to rest when he was not chosen for the three-day match against Australia.

He said: “I think my body would thank me! I haven’t missed much cricket in the last two or three years so to be sat on the side-lines was quite strange.

“I definitely think my body will have appreciated it and hopefully let me finish the season strongly.

“They are long seasons but that’s why we do all the fitness and strengthening and conditioning work in the winter with Ross Dewar.

“I’ve got to give credit to him. I’ve not yet had an injury that’s made me miss a game of cricket.”