Jake Libby continued his superb run of form with another century before a six hitting blitz from Matthew Waite sealed another day of dominance for Worcestershire in the LV=Insurance Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College.
Opener Libby made 117 in Worcestershire’s second innings to take his run tally for the summer past the 900 mark in first class cricket.
It was his third hundred of 2023 and his 15th of his career and ensured Worcestershire ended day three in a position of considerable strength on 316-8 – an overall lead of 421.
He struck 14 boundaries in his 171 ball innings and has 909 runs at an average of 56.81.
Worcestershire lost three early wickets in their second innings but then Libby added 58 with Adam Hose and 114 with Club captain Brett D’Oliveira.
Then came the fireworks from Waite who smashed SIX sixes in reaching 50 off just 22 balls.
The Worcestershire seam bowlers did an excellent job in the morning in earning their side a first innings lead of 105.
Gloucestershire resumed on 212-4 and lost their last six wickets for 89 runs in the space of 32.4 overs as they were dismissed for 301.
Dillon Pennington did the initial damage with the second new ball and then Adam Finch picked up three wickets in the space of eight deliveries to polish off the innings.
Their efforts, plus those of Joe Leach and Matthew Waite, ensured Worcestershire picked up three bowling bonus points to add to their four for batting.
Worcestershire lost three early wickets in their second innings but then Libby initially added 58 with Adam Hose and 114 with Club captain Brett D’Oliveira before some late big hitting from Waite.
The second new ball became available after five overs this morning and Pennington immediately enjoyed a double success.
Tom Price (46) tried to drive Pennington and played on and the very next delivery accounted for Jack Taylor who was trapped leg before.
Zafar Gohar survived the hat-trick ball before Ollie Price completed an excellent century from 245 balls with 13 fours.
Pennington’s morning spell produced the excellent figures of 5-4-1-2 and there was further success for Worcestershire when Waite came into the attack.
He brought and end to Ollie Price’s innings on 115 when he went for an attempted drive and was caught by Josh Baker at silly mid-on.
Finch then collected the last three wickets in quickfire time.
Zafar Gohar (20) fell to a good low catch by Waite at short extra cover, and two balls later Paul van Meekeren was bowled after playing no stroke.
The innings ended when Matt Taylor was caught off a top edge by Gareth Roderick running back towards short third man.
Pennington finished with figures of 19-7-39-3, Leach 23-5-51-3, Finch 14.4-0-72-3 and Waite 21-5-58-1.
When Worcestershire batted, Roderick (10) jabbed at a delivery from Tom Price and departed to a fine catch by Ollie Price at second slip.
Azhar Ali (14) attempted to upper cut van Meekeren and was taken at short third man and Kashif Ali (4) tried to work the same bowler to leg and was caught and bowled off a leading edge.
Libby then pressed the accelerator button and hit Zaman Akhtar for four successive boundaries and completed his 50 from 84 balls.
Hose (21) gave him good support before chopping on a delivery from Zafar Gohar after attempting a cut.
Libby was then joined by Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira who continued the excellent form he had shown during his first innings knock of 90.
The duo profited to a great extent from a series of back foot cover drives and kept the score ticking along at more than four an over.
The 200 came up in 54.4 overs and Libby went to three figures when he turned Ollie Price off his legs for two.
D’Oliveira (46) was eventually caught at backward point off van Meekeren but Waite continued the aggressive tone of the innings.
He smashed two maximums off each of Ollie Price, van Meekeren and Zafar Gohar in a wonderful display of clean hitting.
Libby’s brilliant innings eventually ended when he pouched at square leg off van Meekeren who then had Leach (4) taken behind attempting a hook.
Waite continued to attack until, having made 62 off 32 balls, he was caught behind off Ollie Price from the final ball of the day.