Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Leach “more Determined Than Ever” To Cement First Team Spot At New Road

Leach “more Determined Than Ever” To Cement First Team Spot At New Road

Joe Leach says he is "more determined than ever" to cement a spot in the Worcestershire side after making a sizeable contribution with ball and bat on his return.

The county all-rounder was left out of the team for the opening two LV = County Championship matches with Yorkshire and Sussex.

But Leach earned a recall against Somerset after Gareth Andrew suffered a recurrence of a back injury and has so far taken three wickets and scored 95 to help put Worcestershire in command.

Leach said: "I openly said that I don't want to be playing second team cricket, I want to be in the first team.

"I was a little disappointed to be left out of the side, but for very understandable reasons at the start of the year with Gareth (Andrew) coming back in.

"But now I've got the opportunity, I'm more determined than ever to make sure that spot is mine now.

"I was pleased with the bowling. The batting was a topsy turvy knock to be fair. I either missed the ball by a good foot or hit it for runs.

"To be fair the first two days couldn't have gone much better.

"Obviously Gazza has performed out of his skin as he did last year (in the first two games) and it is a very similar situation to when I came in last year.

"All I want to do is make it as difficult as possible for Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes) and Mitch (skipper Daryl Mitchell) to pick the side."

Leach's partnership with century-maker Ben Cox of 168 in 40 overs – after Alex Gidman's fine 78 – steered Worcestershire to 402 and a first innings lead of 152.

He said:"The taking the new ball gave us a little bit of momentum in a weird sort of way because it was easier to play your shots and once we got going it was a snowball effect.

"It moved all day. At no point in time would you ever describe it as flat. To get the score we did and the lead we got, we are in a very good position and encouraging one.

"If we can get two or three early, you never know. Moz (Charlie Morris) bowled unbelievably on the first day and if he does the same again…..as I said, there is enough in this pitch for us to bowl them out."