Friday, May 7th, 2021


Club Captain Joe leach is looking for the Worcestershire attack to continue this morning in the same vein as they ended day one of the LV=Insurance County Championship derby with Warwickshire at Edgbaston after admitting they were below-par with the ball during the opening session.

Leach was disappointed for Warwickshire to reach 95-1 by lunch after being put in to bat, although the County rallied just before and with the second new ball to restrict the home side to 271-7 from 96 overs.

The 30-year-old was the pick of the seam bowlers while leg spinner Brett D’Oliveira again impressed with the ball.

He said: “Am I pleased with 271-7? Not really, to be honest. Since lunch, I think we’ve done as well as we could have expected to.

“But if we are honest, we were poor in the first session and 95-1 on that wicket, given the rain we’ve had over the last couple of days and what the pitch was doing in the first session, we were disappointed at lunch.

“Was it an easy decision to field first? Not easy. Certainly, with conditions they’ve been the last few days, I think there was a little bit of help in the wicket, and that proved to be the case. We just didn’t capitalise on it.

“You came back strongly in the evening session? We’ve probably got our rewards in the last half four for some good bowling since lunch.

“Brett (D’Oliveira’s) performance was again outstanding on a wicket that hasn’t helped him again.

“To bowl 20 odd overs at under two an over and to pick up a couple of wickets is gold dust for us when as a seam-bowling group we probably haven’t been at our best.”

Worcestershire also spilt a trio of chances in the slips.

Leach added: “Look, we’ve not been catching well enough either. At times we are not bowling well and dropping chances as well, so we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

“We will come back tomorrow, and hopefully, we can wrap up the innings reasonably cheaply. I don’t think they are miles ahead of the game by a long stretch, but it was a disappointing first two hours.

“They are probably 20 or 30 more runs than we would have liked. The wickets at the end probably helped us out in making it a bit more even, so we are going to have to have a good half hour to an hour in the morning, hopefully, wrap up the innings – and then over to the batters.

“You don’t want to win the toss and then for them to get 300. It would be wrong of me to say that. A score of about 270, which is what they are on now, feels about par.

“We are going to have to have a good hour at some point and, if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, then second innings, we are going to have to make sure we bowl above par and keep them to a below-par score to chase on the last day.”

Paceman Josh Tongue picked up his first wicket with the second new ball since returning to action after winter shoulder surgery.

Leach said: “It was pretty obvious he was nervous coming back into the side. He is obviously a first-rate bowler when he clicks, and it was pretty exciting at the end, just how quick he was bowling.

“Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off tomorrow (Friday) and then over the next few games.”