Saturday, August 15th, 2020

HAYNES SHOWS POTENTIAL ON RAIN-HIT OPENING DAY AT NORTHAMPTON

Worcestershire CCC batsman Jack Haynes demonstrated more evidence of his potential on a rain-hit opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy encounter against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The 19-year-old coped admirably with tricky conditions for batting in making a composed 38 after second-placed Worcestershire had been put into bat.

Haynes produced one of the shots of the day in hammering a delivery on the up from Blessing Muzarabani through the covers to the boundary.

He looked set for a substantial score on an overcast day in conditions challenging for batsmen on a bouncy pitch and with plenty of movement.

It needed a splendid delivery from Nathan Buck shortly after lunch to end Haynes’ fine knock when he bowled the England Under-19 player.

Only 37.5 overs were possible during the morning session and for a half hour period in the afternoon before rain ended proceedings with Worcestershire having battled away to reach 93-5 in bowler-friendly conditions.

Play had started on time and Jake Libby (0), the leading run-scorer in the competition, pushed forward to a delivery from Buck and was caught at second slip by Alex Wakely.

Fellow opener Daryl Mitchell (7) departed in similar fashion as he nicked a ball from Buck to Gareth Berg at third slip.

Tom Fell (10) got off the mark with a fine off drive at Jack White’s expense before clipping Muzarabani into the hands of Ben Curran at mid wicket.

Haynes and Brett D’Oliveira, who came into the game top of the Bob Willis Trophy averages, led a counter-attack.

D’Oliveira on drove Buck to the ropes and in the same over angled a ball down to the third man boundary.

He then clipped the same bowler behind square for six.

Worcestershire reached lunch on 71-3 from 29 overs with Haynes on 30 from 64 balls and D’Oliveira 20 from 20 deliveries.

After Buck had bowled Haynes, D’Oliveira (24) attempted to pull Berg and was caught by Curran running around to square leg with the total on 84.

The light was becoming increasingly murky and led to the floodlights being switched on.

Wessels and Cox, who has yet to be dismissed this season after unbeaten scores of 45, 23 and 33, were together when rain drove the players from the field at 93-5 in the 38th over.

It became heavier and resulted in an early tea being taken before play was called off for the day.

Opening batsman Daryl Mitchell said: “It was challenging conditions for batsmen. They bowled well with the new ball and the ball seamed a considerable amount, didn’t particularly come onto the bat and there was a bit of bounce as well.

“I thought we did extremely well in the first session in those conditions to get through to lunch with only three wickets down.

“It was a very responsible knock from Jack Haynes and was a good ball that got him out and to get 30-40 runs in those conditions was a good effort.

“It is a pretty well balanced game and anything around 200 will be a decent score in those conditions. It is all about knuckling down tomorrow and, if anyone gets in, it is important to make it a telling partnership.

“With the bounce in the pitch, we’ve got Josh Tongue who bowled well at Bristol and Dillon who didn’t get the rewards he deserved in the last game.

“Those two will certainly be a handful with the ball and Leachy with his little less height will probably attack the stumps a little bit more.”

Paceman Josh Tongue came back into the Worcestershire side in place of Charlie Morris in the only change from the side which had played so impressively in the drawn game with Glamorgan at Blackfinch New Road.