Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Leach Praise For Wicket-Keeping Skills Of Cox

Leach Praise For Wicket-Keeping Skills Of Cox

Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach has saluted the wicket-keeping skills of Ben Cox and claimed: "if there is anyone in the country better than him, then they are pretty good."

Cox, who last week signed a new four year contract at New Road, gave another demonstration of his talent when standing up to Leach on day three of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Leicestershire at New Road.

The 24-year-old produced a superb legside stumping to dismiss Neil Dexter.

It was the second breakthrough of the innings for Leach but unbeaten half centuries from Paul Horton and Mark Cosgrove lifted Leicestershire to 172-2 and an overall lead of 230 by the close.

Leach, who had earlier top-scored with 90 for Worcestershire, said: "Ben is unbelievable. I don't think there are many better in the country. He is unbelievable behind the stumps.

"He gives bowlers like myself and Barny (Ed Barnard) and Shants (Jack Shantry) on pitches like that not offering anything, the extra dimension of coming up to the stumps really does put pressure on the batters.

"We can still bowl bouncers and he is good enough to take them. I bowled one miles down the legside and we got a stumping off that.

"He is fantastic behind the stumps and if there is anyone better in the country than him, then they are pretty good.

"He is just so good at it. You don't feel like he is going to drop nicks or miss balls down the legside so it is not costing the team, and him coming up to the stumps.It is only helping us."

Leach admitted that he had been fortunate to pick up the wickets of Dexter and Angus Robson.

He said: "They were a couple of burgles to be honest! It is such a funny game.

"When you toil and toil and feel you are bowling relatively well and you don't get a breakthrough and then you bowl a rank long hop and a rank ball down the legside and you end up with 2-2 off two overs, sometimes you are scratching your head.

"But that's the game and in two years time I won't remember it as a rank long hop. I'll claim it was a nick-off or something like that!"

Leach helped rescue Worcestershire from an overnight 193-7 to claim three batting points and reach 349 – just 58 behind on first innings after sharing a century stand with Ed Barnard.

He said afterwards: "It has been pretty good old-fashioned attritional cricket throughout the day.

"I think the pitch dictates that to a certain extent. It is not the quickest and with not much going on for the seam bowlers or the spinners to be fair.

"We were up against it after the poor session we had on Monday evening so it was imperative to stay in the game that we had a good morning with the bat and got as close as we could to them.

"In the end, we can be satisfied with finishing 50 odd behind on first innings from the position we got ourselves into really."

Leach and Barnard raised the 100 partnership in just 21.2 overs after showing attacking intent throughout the morning.

Leach said: "I don't play any other way really. It wasn't a concious effort to do so. It is mine and Barny's natural game and thankfully it came off.

"It is a good pitch and as soon as you get in and get used to the pace of the ball, it was very nice to bat on.

"I got out to I think was the best ball I hit all day! I was just trying to clip it for one and it ended up down Shreck's throat on the boundary.

"That's cricket. I'm sure if you had offered me 90 at the start of the day i would have taken it."

Leach said that Worcestershire would attempt to chase down any reasonable target.

He said: "It remains a good pitch and we have to remain confident we can chase anything they put in front of us.

"I'm sure we'll give it a good go. We are getting towards the back end of the season and we want to be winning games.

"As long as it is reasonable, I'd thought we'd have a go at it. I don't think the pitch has deteriorated quite as much as they would have hoped by this stage. Hopefully that remains the same.

"With them not having a spinner, it means if we do get on top of them their attack is a little one dimensional so hopefully we can get in early and chase whatever they throw at us."