Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Joe Says County Can Be “pretty Happy” After Fightback Versus Northants

Joe Says County Can Be “pretty Happy” After Fightback Versus Northants

Vice-captain Joe Leach says Worcestershire can be "pretty happy" with the final outcome of a topsy turvy opening day to the Specsavers County Championship clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Leach played a key part with bat and ball in Worcestershire recovered from 54-5 after choosing to bat on a used pitch already showing signs of taking spin.

Ben Cox (74) and Ross Whiteley (66) had shared a superb sixth wicket stand of 129 in 30.3 overs as they counter-attacked to good effect.

Then Leach hit 51 not out – his third half century in three knocks – and put on 50 for the last wicket with Matt Henry, who came into the side because of a foot injury to Kyle Abbott, before taking three early wickets as Northants closed on 64-3.

Leach told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "We had a pretty poor first hour and managed to fight back relatively well. We can be pretty happy with the way the day has ended up.

"In the first hour it did a little bit but to be brutally honest some of our top order will be disappointed with how they got out.

"That's the game. Other days they just miss the fielders and they get a start and a bit of luck depending on whether momentum is with you or not.

"Thankfully we wrestled back a bit of momentum. I thought Rossco and Coxy's partnership after lunch was brilliant and it took that momentum away from them and gave it back to ourselves and we kind of ran with it for the rest of the day."

Leach added: "We got a decent score, certainly not a massive score on that pitch, but taking those three early wickets certainly helped.

"We needed to get as much as we could first innings because we are pretty sure it will spin and will deteriorate as the game goes on. It is a used pitch so first innings runs are vital.

"We are very happy to have taken three wickets and if we can nip a couple out in the first hour we are quids in.

"I think it might spin. It has already spun today for Panesar and Prasanna and I'm sure George (Rhodes) and Dolly will be licking their lips at the prospect of bowling on that – if not this innings then certainly the fourth innings of the game."