Saturday, May 7th, 2022


Joe Leach paid tribute to the bravery and significance of Worcestershire’s last-wicket pair Adam Finch and Ben Gibbon, standing up to the Durham attack for a lengthy period on day three at New Road.

Finch and Gibbon defied the Durham bowlers for nearly 20 overs and clinched a third batting point in the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter.

But their efforts also played a key role in Durham deciding not to enforce the follow on, and they used up more time and overs before declaring and setting a 442 target.

Leach, who himself hit a fine 62, said: “The lower order work really hard on their batting, they are brave and take it very seriously. 

“We saw that the way Adam and Ben played to put nearly 20 overs more into the Durham guys legs.

“They were very brave, they both stood up to some hostile bowling, some quick bowling.

“It is really encouraging for us that is sort of fight we’ve got in the side and hopefully that continues tomorrow.”

Leach masterminded a recovery from 150-6 to 309 all out with great support from Ben Cox and Josh Baker in half century partnerships.

He said: “It was really important this morning that the guys could put overs in the legs of the Durham bowlers, try and absorb as much time out of the game as we could, and we did that as well as we could have hoped.

“We forced them to bat again for a while and have come through the day as well as we could realistically expect to.

“But we are still on the wrong side of the game at the moment and have got a lot of hard work to do tomorrow.

Leach followed up his 70 versus Leicestershire with another accomplished knock.

He said: “I feel in a really good place. Experience has helped and I do want to score and contribute a lot of runs.

“I’m happy at eight. Good sides have people batting at seven, eight, nine who score a lot of runs. 

“We probably haven’t done that as well as we would have liked over the past few years.

“I want to make sure I score the runs that position justifies and the runs a top side would expect from a number eight.”

Leach has been delighted with the fighting qualities which have enabled the side to recover challenging situations on several occasions already this summer.

He said: “It has been really impressive, in contrast probably to periods last year, how we’ve managed to fightback in really tough periods.

“The character that has been shown…obviously Ed (Barnard) is batting out of his skin at the moment and long may that continue, then you had Ben Cox’s innings last week and his contribution today.

“We know there has always been ability there. Obviously the top four would like to set it up better, and I’m sure they will over the course of the season.

“But it is important that the guys behind keep contributing and adapting to situations as they come up.”

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