Monday, July 10th, 2017

Hero Ben Thrives On Challenge And Says Ton Is “monkey Off My Back”

Hero Ben Thrives On Challenge And Says Ton Is “monkey Off My Back”

Worcestershire keeper Ben Cox says scoring his first hundred for two years is "a monkey off my back" and that he thrives on the kind of challenging situations that confronted him against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Cox went to the middle with Worcestershire in trouble at 69-4 in reply to Gloucestershire's 383 all out on a wicket offering ample encouragement to the bowlers.

But he responded by making a career best 124 and shared in a crucial stand of 141 with George Rhodes (52) to rescue the visitors.

It was the third century of his first class career and followed the ones against Hampshire in 2014 and Somerset the following season.

Cox said: "It was good fun actually. I enjoy those situations where you go into bat and you are struggling a bit.

"I always seem to get the best out of me and get up for it that 10 per cent more. I just enjoyed my time at the crease today.

"Like I said, I kind of thrive on those situations and that will be my best hundred in terms of batsmanship.

"It wasn't too pretty to start off with. It was one of those wickets where it was quite hard to time for your first 30 balls, quite hard to get used to the pace of the pitch, the bounce.

"But I didn't feel at any stage that I was going to get out below 100. Sometimes it happens like that for you.

"Today was my day. I got a bit of a top edge early on and it went over fine leg for six so it is one of those days where stuff like that went my day.

"But fortunately it was a chanceless one so I'm really pleased with that."

Cox added: "To be honest it is a monkey off my bat. It has been two years since my last hundred and I've been trying desperately to spend more time at the crease.

"Moving up the order to six, hopefully this is a sign of more to come."

Cox was full of praise for the contribution of Rhodes who also showed great application in testing circumstances.

He said: "George played superbly. There was that 10-15 over period where something happened to the ball.

"It was going around corners, it was nipping, it was seaming, it was swinging, it was bouncing, it wasn't bouncing, it was real hard work.

"It was a crucial little period for the team because we could have easily have gone five, six (wickets down) and exposed our tail early to that ball.

"But that crucial period, myself and George got through it, which was very pleasing."

Skipper Joe Leach declared 83 runs behind at 300-9 and then Gloucestershire replied with 20-0 off eight overs by the close.

Cox said: "It is an aggressive declaration, it is positive, we are here to win a game of cricket and with the weather around tomorrow, it is the best opportunity for us.

"If we do lose time to rain, they've already got a lead so hopefully we can bowl well tomorrow if we get out there, or if we don't we can try and set up a chase on the last day."