Monday, July 22nd, 2019


Worcestershire Club Captain Joe Leach gave his reaction at the end of day two of the Specsavers County Championship encounter with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Leach collected the 300th first class wicket of his career as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 354 and then a stand of 146 between Ross Whiteley (88) and Brett D’Oliveira (66 not out) rescued Worcestershire from 68-5 to close on 232-6 from 83 overs.

The 28-year-old Leach, who finished with 6-79, said: “How am I feeling? Well certainly a lot better than I was around tea-time to be honest. I thought the partnership that Bret and Ross put on was an exceptional one.

“It has not got us completely out of the mire but it has gone a long way towards doing that. Things seem a little bit more rosy than they did about half-way through the day.

“Will that partnership help restore confidence in the batting? It was a really good partnership at a difficult time. Gloucestershire had their tails up and a reasonable total on the board.

“For those guys to come out and play the way they did was very pleasing for us and, yes, hopefully it does restore a bit of confidence for us and we can go out in the morning and get as close as we can to their total, if not past it and then see where we go from there.

“Ross is a good cricketer. Everyone knows his counter-punchability and how clean he strikes a ball but I thought his foot movement today was really crisp and clinical and he played a really mature innings.

“The pitch is one of those as a batter where you never feel quite ‘in’. A lot of balls have disappeared down to third man. Both sides have had a third man and, if not, the scores could have been really high.

“There is certainly enough there. If you can string a spell together as a bowling group, you feel like there are wickets around the corner. If you miss, then you are going to get hit for four.

“I thought yesterday (with the ball) the first and third sessions were pretty solid efforts. That middle session, going at five an over, has really put us behind the eight ball in the game.

“We had our best case scenario this morning and kept the scoreboard really dry and to knock over three wickets in this day and age isn’t quite as easy as it may have been 10-15 years ago.

“It was really pleasing to do that rather than it be a score of 380-390.”

Leach added: “To get to 300 wickets is a nice feeling. It shows a bit of longevity in the game and you have to put performances in over a number of seasons so it is really pleasing.”