Wednesday, July 26th, 2023


Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira played a major role in leading a Worcestershire recovery on the opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College.

D’Oliveira featured in two of three substantial partnerships which rescued Worcestershire from 18-3 after they had been put into bat.

He came to the wicket at 95-4 after Gareth Roderick and Adam Hose had begun the fightback with a stand of 77 in just 14 overs.

D’Oliveira then played the support role to a sparkling innings post lunch from Matthew Waite during a partnership of 83 in 15 overs.

He then was given excellent support by Josh Baker in another crucial unbroken stand of 83 before rain halted play shortly before tea with Worcestershire 265-7 from 62 overs.

D’Oliveira was unbeaten on 53 and Baker 40 not out and they secured a first batting bonus point for Worcestershire.

Roderick had adapted an aggressive approach after Worcestershire lost three early wickets in making 53 off 64 deliveries with nine fours.

It lifted his run tally for the season to 586 at an average of nearly 35 with only Libby having scored more.

Waite also produced a knock full of positive intent in hitting 64 off 54 balls with 12 boundaries.

In the process he completed 500 first class runs for the campaign to add to his 25 wickets in an excellent first full season at New Road.

Wickets fell in clusters throughout a see-saw day in which a total of 34 overs were lost to the elements.

Worcestershire made one change from the side which started the game against Leicestershire with Kashif Ali included for his first Championship appearance of the season.

Gloucestershire skipper James Bracey into Worcestershire into bat and Jake Libby (0), who has been in prolific form, pushed at a delivery from Matt Taylor and was caught at third slip.

Azhar Ali (0) went lbw to Matt Taylor to a delivery which nipped back in and Kashif Ali (0) nicked Tom Price to second slip.

Roderick immediately looked in good nick and collected his first boundary backward of square off Tom Price and collected three fours in quick succession off Matt Taylor.

Adam Hose also scored freely and the half century stand with Roderick came up from only 53 balls.

Roderick cut Paul van Meekeren for his ninth four to complete an excellent half century from 62 balls.

But in the same over he was bowled by van Meekeren via an inside edge which hit the leg stump.

Hose (32) looked in good form before he was bowled by a delivery from Zaman Akhtar that nipped away with the total on 99-5.

Waite was instantly into his stride with two fours off Akhtar as Worcestershire reached 119-5 by lunch and then smashed six boundaries in the space of 10 balls immediately after the interval.

He produced a series of copybook cricket shots all around the wicket from cover drives, square drives and pulls as Matt Taylor and van Meekeren came in for heavy punishment.

D’Oliveira also upped the tempo and a back foot cover drive for four off Matt Taylor brought up the fifty partnership

Waite continued to pepper the boundary boards and a single off van Meekeren enabled him to complete a 40 ball fifty with 10 fours.

He went onto make 64 before he aimed a full bloodied drive at Akhtar and was pouched at second slip after adding 83 in 15 overs with D’Oliveira.

Joe Leach (0) went leg before in Azhar’s next over working to leg.

But the third substantial stand of the day was provided by D’Oliveira and Baker who twice cover-drove Matt Taylor for impressive boundaries.

A quick single enabled D’Oliveira to reach his fifty from 87 balls and the 250 came up in 57.1 overs.