Sunday, September 6th, 2020

ED REACHES 200 WICKETS AS COUNTY SECURE MAXIMUM BOWLING POINTS

 

Ed Barnard claimed his 200th first class wicket as a fine performance by the Worcestershire attack dismissed Somerset for 251 in the Bob Willis Trophy Central Group top of the table clash at Blackfinch New Road.

Barnard reached the personal milestone with the second of his trio of scalps when dismissing Josh Davey.

There was also a three wicket haul for Dillon Pennington who bowled an excellent post lunch spell in which he dismissed Somerset captain and top scorer Tom Abell for 59.

He ended with figures of 3-49 from 20 overs but all of the Worcestershire pace bowlers were disciplined and kept to a tight line on a greenish pitch in securing maximum bowling points.

Spinner Brett D’Oliveira also made a key contribution with two important wickets and kept the Somerset batsmen on a tight rein.

The efforts of the attack were even more commendable after losing the services mid-way through the day of paceman Josh Tongue with a back spasm.

Club Captain Joe Leach constantly beat the bat with the new ball and on another day could have picked up two or three wickets during his first spell of 8-3-16-0.

Openers Daryl Mitchell and Jake Libby safely negotiated five overs in reaching 14-0 by the close.

Worcestershire Assistant Coach-Bowling Coach, Alan Richardson, said: “I thought both sides would have enjoyed the battle that was going on out there. It looked like the wicket had a little more juice in it than the one against Warwickshire and it looks a good cricket wicket.

“The extravagant movement we saw in the first hour was with the hardness of the ball so it will be a test for us in the morning but then hopefully you try and make inroads later on as the ball gets softer and the bowlers get a few overs in their legs.

“Is 251 a good total? I think we bowled brilliantly. I couldn’t have asked for anymore. That first session, to take only one wicket from a run-out, the boys deserved far more than that and we got those rewards as the day went on.

“When Dillon bowls really well, and it clicks, he is powerful and he threatens a lot. He can be quite physically intimidating and it was good to see him do that today.

“He bowled some big spells, an eight over spell post lunch when he picked up a couple of wickets, and he bowled magnificently well.

“He bowled 20 of the first 70 overs and worked hard in that first four or five hours of play and he is a whole-hearted competitor. He puts a lot of work into it and runs a lot further than I did!”

“Brett also played a very big part. He picked up two wickets, bowled excellently, kept an end up as well, and you could not ask anymore from him on the first day of the game as a spinner.

Worcestershire made one change from the side which drew with Warwickshire with Pennington replacing fellow paceman Charlie Morris.

Somerset opted to bat first on a greenish wicket and openers Ben Green and Tom Lammonby survived a spate of early lbw appeals from the new ball attack of Leach and Tongue.

Green edged Tongue through the slips for four before the first breakthrough thanks to some excellent fielding by Barnard with Green run out for eight with 18 on the board.

Tongue was played into the covers by Lammonby who set off instantly for what looked like a risky single – and Green was unable to beat the razor sharp Barnard’s direct hit.

Lammonby on 12 had a let off when Riki Wessels at first slip could not hold onto a low chance low to his left off Pennington.

Abell reached his half century off 89 balls with eight fours just after lunch.

But Pennington helped wrestle control for Worcestershire and broke a stand of 75 in the next over when Lammonby (28) chopped a delivery onto his stumps.

George Bartlett (18) departed in similar fashion to a ball from Tongue and then Pennington picked up the prized wicket of Abell on 59.

He found the edge of his bat and keeper Ben Cox pulled off a fine low catch away to his right.

D’Oliveira came into the attack and struck in his first over when bowling former Worcestershire wicket-keeper batsman Steve Davies (9) through the gate with a fine delivery.

It became 134-6 when Jamie Overton (1) edged Barnard and perished to a low catch by Daryl Mitchell at second slip.

Lewis Gregory then went on the offensive with a trio of sixes and he and Eddie Byrom added an unbroken 43 in eight overs by tea.

Gregory (37) became tied down by D’Oliveira on the resumption and the spinner was rewarded when dismissing the England white ball player.

He sliced his attempted drive into the hands of Pennington at short third man to end a stand of 61 in 15 overs with Byrom with the total 195-7.

Pennington struck with the ball for the third time when Byrom (30) attempted a cut shot and Barnard pulled off a magnificent catch low down at point.

Davey (28) holed out to square leg off Barnard to complete his double century of wickets and the same bowler trapped Jack Leach (21) lbw to wrap up the innings.