Assistant Head Coach Kadeer Ali was full of praise for a captain’s innings from Brett D’Oliveira as he and Kashif Ali steered Worcestershire to the verge of promotion to Division One of the LV=Insurance County Championship against Yorkshire at Headingley.
Worcestershire will require just 20 more runs to secure the second point needed to finish in the top two when they resume on 280-5 after Kashif (93) and D’Oliveira (90 not out) led a superb fightback.
Their partnership of 155 for the fifth wicket was a new Worcestershire record in matches against Yorkshire as they rescued their side from 67-4 in ideal bowling conditions.
Kashif said: “An excellent day’s cricket. This morning, having lost the toss, the ball moved around a bit, and Yorkshire bowled really nicely for the first hour or so, putting us under a bit of pressure.
“But I thought the way Kash and Brett played was fantastic. To put on 155 was absolutely brilliant, and then Ben Allison came in at the end and played beautifully for his 25.
“It would have been nice to get 300 today, but I think we will take it in the morning.
“Dolly in the last three or four games has been excellent, and he has led the team from the front.
“It was a proper captain’s knock today, and hopefully he gets to three figures tomorrow and gets the big one he deserves.”
Kashif fell just short of his maiden Championship century as he replicated the excellent form demonstrated in the Metro Bank One Day Cup.
Kadeer said: “We know the talent Kashif has got. He has shown a lot of talent in the white ball, and he got a fifty on his Championship debut last year.
“He’s had a couple of games where he has missed out, but there is no doubting his ability, and it was nice to see him get in today and a shame he didn’t get his hundred.”
Ben Allison, on loan from Essex, again showed his promise with the bat in helping D’Oliveira add an unbroken 58.
Kadeer said: “We knew he could bat when we signed him on loan. He’s played nine games and got three fifties, so we knew he’s got ability with the bat as well.
“He has been brilliant since he’s been with us, fitted in well with the group, and bowled well, and it was good to see him chip in with runs as well.”
Kadeer was happy with Worcestershire’s total at the end of the day and has also been keeping an eye on events at the Seat Unique Riverside, where Durham scored 409-5 versus Leicestershire.
He said: “We know the game is going on but we are just trying to stay focused here, and 300 runs gets us two points. That’s the main focus.
“But we keep an eye on the Durham match, and they seem to have had a really good day today, so it’s gone the right way for us today.
“We are happy to finish on 280-5 given how strong Yorkshire and their attack are.”