Friday, August 18th, 2023


Worcestershire Academy produced a superb recovery to defeat Cricket Wales by 106 runs at Kidderminster and strengthen their position at the top of the ECB Under-18 County Championship Group Two.

The Academy looked to be heading for defeat inside two days when their second innings score stood on 153-8 – an overall lead of just 107.

But then the course of the game changed thanks to a superb ninth wicket stand of 138 spanning 52.4 overs from Fin Goodman (83) and Toby Cox (53).

Goodman batted for 217 balls and more than four and a half hours in making 83 with eight boundaries.

Cox gave him excellent support in making 53 from 166 deliveries with five fours as Worcestershire reached 291 all out and set Cricket Wales a 246 target.

Harry Darley and Jack Home both struck with the new ball to reduce their opponents to 8-2.

Cricket Wales recovered to reach 103-2 but Darley returned to end a partnership of 95 and then spinners Ben Clarke and Academy captain Joe Stanley took centre stage.

Slow left-armer Clarke finished with figures of 9-1-17-4 and off spinner Stanley 9.1-4-13-3 as Wales lost their last eight wickets for 36 in 18.2 overs and were bowled out for 139.

Darley’s two wickets gave him match figures of 20-5-63-7 after he had inflicted most of the damage in Cricket Wales first innings.

Worcestershire were put into bat and were bowled out for 159 in 52.4 overs.

Home top-scored with 41 but no-one else in the top eight reached 20 and the next best contribution was Clarke’s 29.

When Cricket Wales batted, Darley and Cox reduced them to 40-4 and the former mopped up the lower order but the visitors managed to total 205.

Darley produced first innings figures of 11-2-35-5, Cox 6-2-29-2, Stanley 8.2-2-38-2 and Clarke 7-2-17-1.

The opening day saw 20 wickets fall for 364 runs in 103 overs.