Jack Haynes praised Worcestershire Club Captain Joe Leach’s match-winning knock against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup at New Road as was “one of the best I’ve seen live.”
Leach produced some astonishing hitting in smashing seven sixes and five fours in racing to 88 off just 51 balls in a three-wicket success.
His efforts helped the Rapids chased down a 324 target with five balls to spare after Haynes (77) and Tom Fell (57) had laid the foundations.
It was a thrilling climax to a splendid day’s entertainment for Worcestershire CCC members and supporters.
Ed Barnard (39 not out) provided excellent support for Leach in a match-winning stand of 134 in 15.2 overs.
Haynes said: “It was certainly a thrilling start to our campaign and a great chase to finish off a pretty exciting day’s cricket.
“The knock by the captain (Joe Leach) was probably one of the best knocks I’ve seen live, to be honest.
“There was some seriously clean ball striking and he has led with the front as captain, both with the ball and the bat there.”
Leach surpassed his previous List A best of 63 against Yorkshire at Headingley in the opening role five years ago.
He said: “This is probably a bit better than that one. I probably closed my eyes and had a swing, whereas this one was a little bit more calculated.
“It is probably right up there in my professional career and a lovely way to start the competition.
“I had my heart in my mouth a couple of times (with the sixes), but you get on a roll sometimes.
“You don’t get much chance to do that for a prolonged period, so to get to do it over 50-60 balls was really nice.
“I backed myself and Ed’s partnership to definitely get somewhere near.”
Haynes looked in good touch and produced some excellent strokes in another fine knock.
The England Under-19 batsman said: “Myself, I felt good, although it is always disappointing not to go on. I hit too many fielders probably at times.
“It would be nice to get a big score and go on and take the responsibility off the lads down the order, but there is always the next game.
“I thought Tom (Fell) played brilliantly as well, and we seemed to dovetail quite well together.
“We always talk about being positive and aggressive, and we knew we needed a platform, and it was nice to set one for Joe to come in and finish it off.
“Ed (Barnard) also played really well. A great knock and, with someone like Joe hitting like he was, you need someone to knock it around at the other end.”
Haynes was playing only the second List A game of his career after making his debut against West Indies A at New Road three years ago.
He said: “It is strange playing 50 over cricket. It feels like a long time since the last time.
“It is nice to get out there; it’s a great format. The pitch was brilliant to bat on, and you felt like you were timing it well.
“These days in 50 over cricket, you are looking at scores of 300 to 320 as par on good decks like that.”