Sunday, May 8th, 2022


Jack Haynes scored his maiden first class century as he and Azhar Ali’s record-breaking partnership enabled Worcestershire to secure an excellent draw with Durham in the LV=Insurance County Championship match at New Road.

Haynes’ magic moment came when he edged Matthew Potts for his 17th four before jumping in the air with delight and being hugged by Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira.

It came from his 227th delivery and was also greeted by a standing ovation from members and supporters and his team-mates on the dressing room balcony.

Haynes had come so close before to this milestone, being unluckily run out for 87 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and then hitting 97 versus Derbyshire at New Road.

But there was no denying him on this occasion, and his and Azhar’s efforts completed a remarkable recovery after Durham had dominated the opening two days.

Azhar showed all his qualities in making a fine 92, and his experience in shepherding Haynes towards three figures would have been invaluable to the youngster.

By the close, Worcestershire had reached 262-3, with Haynes unbeaten on 276 balls with 20 boundaries.

It was another example of the quality, grit and determination evident in this Worcestershire squad after bouncing back from being 41-4 in reply to Durham’s 580-6.

As a result, they collected 12 valuable points – eight for a draw, three for batting and one for bowling.

Worcestershire resumed on 85-2 with their realistic aim to try and salvage a draw after being set a 442 target.

Ali and Haynes were greeted with overcast skies when facing the opening attack of Matthew Potts and Chris Rushworth.

But the third wicket pair coped admirably and were not afraid to play their shots.

Haynes, in particular, reeled off a series of delightful back foot cover drives, but Azhar also grew in confidence after what has been a challenging start to the campaign.

New England captain Ben Stokes tried to unsettle the Pakistan batter during a spell where the accent was very much on short-pitched deliveries.

He had a leg slip and two players in position for the hook, but Azhar was unfazed and clipped Stokes for two through mid-wicket to complete a 100 ball half century.

Haynes then steered Matt Salisbury for his ninth four to third man to complete his fifty from 87 deliveries.

Durham captain Scott Borthwick rang the changes, but Azhar and Haynes safely negotiated 30 overs during the opening session in excellent fashion, adding 76 runs.

After lunch, it was a similar picture with Haynes and Azhar, who went one spell of 34 balls without scoring, coping with all Durham could throw at them.

Azhar on 74 was dropped in the gulley off Matt Salisbury in a rare chance.

The second new ball was taken at 230-3, and the first over brought an end to Azhar’s fine innings on 92 when he edged a ball from Rushworth that moved away to second slip.

His 224 ball knock spanned more than five hours and contained 12 boundaries.

The partnership of 195 in 74 overs was the highest for Worcestershire for any wicket against Durham.

There was joy in the next over for Haynes when he went to three figures with his boundary off Potts as Worcestershire reached 234-3 off 82 overs by tea.

After tea, Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and Haynes safely negotiated a second spell of the day from Stokes.