Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Leach Gearing Up For “three Cup Finals” In The Battle For Division One Status

Leach Gearing Up For “three Cup Finals” In The Battle For Division One Status

Joe Leach says Worcestershire need to administer "killer blows" to opponents when on top in games as he gears up for "three cup finals" in the battle to retain LV = County Championship Division One cricket.

All-rounder Leach believes Worcestershire have overall delivered a calibre of cricket deserving of a higher position in the table but knows that it is time to deliver positive results.

They are currently in eighth spot – four points behind Sussex who visit New Road for a game which gets underway on Tuesday (10.30am start).

Worcestershire will have had a week's break since their last action at Taunton by the time they get underway in that match.

There is also time in between the final two games with Durham (away) and Middlesex (home) to recharge the batteries after the demanding schedule of the past two months and mixture of Championship, NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup matches.

Leach, who this week signed a new three year contract at New Road, said: "It means we are going to attack all three games fresh and, to use the football terminology, they are three cup finals aren't they.

"I suppose that is the only way we can look at them. I don't think we can be too cute about it. The time for talking is done. We need to get results otherwise we are going to find ourselves in Division Two.

"Starting next week with Sussex, it is probably the biggest game of the three. If we could put that to bed, it would certainly put a bit of daylight between us and them and Hampshire.

"But if we don't back that up with a couple of good performances after that, they will probably catch us anyway so it's three big games."

Leach rejects the theory that the block of Royal London One-Day Cup matches may have caused Worcestershire to lose some momentum in the LV = CC.

He said: "I don't necessarily think that has been the case with our four-day stuff. We had Notts at 40-3 here chasing 250 to win where we potentially could have won that game. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"Maybe a Division Two side would have probably rolled over in that situation. But a Division One side, with international calibre cricketers, don't do that. That's the kind of situation we need to learn and put in the killer blows to teams.

"There have been two or three examples of that during the season and we could have come up with 60-70 more points and looking at the table being third or fourth and you are thinking 'how have they managed to do that.'

"I personally feel that's the calibre of cricket we have played and we were a bit unlucky down at Hampshire not to win there, and Durham here. That's where a more experienced team would probably put the game to bed.

"We probably should have chased down 250 at Sussex after being 50 odd for no wicket, we probably should have chased down the Notts score away having been where we were."