Saturday, May 20th, 2023


Wonderful Worcestershire pulled off a remarkable three-wicket victory over Leicestershire in a nail-biting LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at New Road.

They showed immense character, determination, and skill to fight back in superb fashion from being bowled out 90 runs arrears on the first day.

Their bowlers set the tone by bowling out Leicestershire for 180 in their second innings, with Joe Leach and Matthew Waite sharing nine wickets.

Then their batters showed tremendous application in attempting to chase down a 271 target on a still difficult pitch.

Adam Hose, with a fluent 84, and Gareth Roderick, who batted for more than five hours for his 59, were the main contributors.

But there were also important contributions from Jack Haynes, Waite, Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and Adam Finch.

Hose made the switch from Warwickshire to New Road on a three-year deal during the winter, partially because he felt he would have a greater chance of playing red ball cricket.

He had not played a Championship game for three years since the end of the 2019 season and has spent the past year impressing in T20 cricket.

Hose was the third-highest scorer in last year’s Vitality Blast and then made a significant contribution for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and earned praise for his calming influence from Head Coach Jason Gillespie.

Hose had scored his capabilities in Championship cricket by making 59 and 41 in the previous home game against Sussex when England’s Ollie Robinson had bowled superbly to pick up 14 wickets.

Here he produced a knock worthy of a century, given the difficult conditions for batting. 

Roderick had been promoted from the middle order to number three for this game and provided rock-solid support for Hose in dropping anchor at the other end.

He demonstrated excellent concentration and technique in such challenging conditions in completing a 185-ball century.

Then D’Oliveira dug in to make an unbeaten 41 off 137 balls before successive fours off Chris Wright sealed the win and prompted joyous scenes amongst the Worcestershire supporters.

It was the perfect tonic ahead of the start of the Vitality Blast next week.

Worcestershire resumed on 26-2 on a pitch still offering plenty of encouragement to the bowlers with its unpredictable bounce.

Loan signing Josh Davey made the first breakthrough of the day when Jack Haynes was adjudged lbw to a delivery angled back in.

Roderick was joined by Adam Hose, who was greeted by a delivery from Davey which lifted and popped up onto the offside.

But he was soon into his stride in straight driving Chris Wright for four and then pulling Davey for six.

The former Warwickshire batter looked in good touch and scored freely, but Roderick’s contribution was also invaluable.

The 50 stand came up in 13 overs, but there was still the threat of a delivery misbehaving, and Roderick edged one delivery from Tom Scriven high over the slips and keeper to the boundary.

A straight drive by Hose brought him his eighth four and enabled him to complete an excellent half-century from 66 balls.

The third wicket pair had extended their stand to 92 by lunch, and the century partnership came up shortly after the resumption from 168 balls.

Wright came back into the attack after lunch, and Roderick flicked him off his legs for a boundary.

Hose went into overdrive with a flurry of boundaries which took him into the 80s and brought the target to within realistic proportions.

But after adding 131 in 37 overs with Roderick, Hose’s superb knock came to an end when he pushed forward to Wiaan Mulder and was caught behind.

His two-and-a-half-hour knock spanned 117 balls and contained one six and 14 fours.

Roderick was dropped at slip off Wright on 49 in the same over as he completed a 185 ball half century.

His patient knock ended on 59 when Colin Ackermann held onto a chance at second slip off Mulder with the total 194-5.

D’Oliveira batted in a similarly determined fashion in shoring up one end while new batter Waite did the bulk of the scoring after the second new ball was taken.

He made a quickfire 22 before being trapped lbw at 228-6 by Mulder, who accounted for Leach in the same manner.

Every run was greeted with cheers from the Worcestershire supporters, and Adam Finch picked up two boundaries from a square drive and a top edge over the slips.

D’Oliveira settled the issue with a steer to third man and a square cut for boundaries off Wright to start the celebrations.