Thursday, May 5th, 2022


Henry Cullen and triallist Kashif Ali came to Worcestershire Seconds rescue after a dramatic collapse on day three of the Second Eleven Championship match with Northamptonshire at Northampton.

On a rain-shortened day, Worcestershire resumed on 36-0 in their second innings after lunch but then lost five wickets in nine balls in going from 53-0 to 57-5.

At that stage, they were only 132 runs ahead, but Cullen and Kashif steadied the innings with an aggressive partnership of 84 in 15.4 overs.

Kashif followed up his first-innings 80 by reaching a 64 ball half-century with seven fours.

Cullen’s unbeaten 41 had steered Worcestershire to three batting points on the second morning, and he again looked in good form.

He was clearly disappointed when, after making 35 from 39 balls with six boundaries, he cut a delivery straight into the hands of point at 141-6.

Kashif just had time to complete his half-century with a single, despite hesitating in mid-wicket before rain prevented any play after tea.

Worcestershire’s total then stood on 154-6 – an overall lead of 229 – with Kashif on 52 and fellow triallist Roshan Balaji on five heading into the final day.

Experienced seamer Nathan Buck caused the early damage to Worcestershire with three wickets in an over.

Taylor Cornall (32) was strangled down the leg side, Gareth Roderick (0) was undone by a delivery which nipped away and caught behind, and Jacques Banton (0) pushed forward and was bowled.

George Gowler also picked up two wickets in two balls, with Tom Fell (22) also edging a legside ball and Ismail Mohammed (0) lbw to a full-length delivery.

But then came the Kashif-Cullen rescue act to set up a potentially exciting finish on day four.