Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Leach Praise For “great Platform” Set But Says Work Still To Do For Worcs

Skipper Joe Leach says Daryl Mitchell, George Rhodes and Tom Fell have laid a “great platform” for Worcestershire to push for victory on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship promotion battle with leaders Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Mitchell ended unbeaten on 63 as Worcestershire closed on 123-2 in pursuit of a 226 target with Rhodes (21) and Fell (30) also playing their part in stands of 57 and 66 against a top quality attack in tricky conditions.

Leach knows there is still work to do if Worcestershire are to get across the winning line but is full of praise for the foundations that have been put in place.

He told BBC Hereford-Worcester’s Dave Bradley: “Mitch and George (Rhodes) and then Mitch and Felly have laid a great platform for us so hopefully the weather stays away and we can crack on and get the win.

“Mitch seems to think it is certainly a little bit easier than in the first innings.

“But there are balls in it (the pitch) and they are a good bowling attack and the last ball of the day has seen Felly get an absolute jaffer.

“Tomorrow is a new day, we are going to have to bat well to knock them off but the platform that has been set has put us in a very strong position.”

Leach ended with his fourth five-wicket haul of the season and his personal tally stands at 58 Championship wickets – the highest in Division Two.

But all his thoughts are on the team goal of promotion and he was full of praise for his fellow members of the attack in Ed Barnard and Josh Tongue.

Leach said: “Barny has been brilliant with bat and ball, a bit of an unsung hero at times. He runs in all day for you and he has scored valuable runs for us all season.

“Him and Josh Tongue today in the first hour showed their maturity because it is a tough situation to throw them into, first versus second and a really tight game.

“For them to bowl like they did this morning, shows great maturity and bodes well for the future.”

The Worcestershire players formed a guard of honour for Nottinghamshire keeper Chris Read’s final innings at Trent Bridge before he retires from first class cricket.

Leach said: “He’s a legend of the game. We’ve got a lot of respect for players who have played for as long as he has and achieved what he has in the game.

“It’s a no-brainer to do something like that and I’m glad that he got the reception that he deserved.

“We kind of thought about doing it, especially after the first innings, to show our respect to a legend of Nottinghamshire cricket.”