Thursday, September 28th, 2023


Joe Leach registered the 450th first class wicket of his career, and newly-promoted Worcestershire are heading for an exciting finish to the season in their LV=Insurance County Championship fixture with Yorkshire at Headingley.

Leach began the day needing two more wickets, and he dismissed Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth and George Hill to reach the personal milestone.

It came 11 years after his first wicket when he accounted for Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown when playing for Leeds-Bradford MCCU.

The 32-year-old was warmly congratulated by his team-mates today, and there were also two wickets apiece for Dillon Pennington, in his final game for Worcestershire, and Ben Gibbon.

But an unbroken stand of 85 between Matthew Revis and Dom Bess enabled Yorkshire to avoid the possibility of being asked to follow on and they declared 127 behind at 260-6.

Worcestershire had reached 18-2 from seven overs, extending their overall lead to 145, before bad light halted proceedings.

Jake Libby will resume on four not out, needing another 28 runs to over-take his previous best aggregate for a season in the Championship of 1,075 in 2021.

Play got underway under leaden skies and with the floodlights on after a 45-minute delay, and Worcestershire were soon amongst the wickets.

Yorkshire resumed on 24-0 but added only eight more runs before Adam Lyth (11) drove at Leach and was caught behind by keeper Gareth Roderick.

Gibbon, playing in his first Championship match since the home fixture with Yorkshire in early July, came into the attack and was rewarded with two wickets in a good opening spell.

Finlay Bean (31|) also attempted a drive and was bowled by a ball angled back in.

Yorkshire captain Shan Masood (19) then aimed a similar shot at the left armer and Josh Baker held a comfortable chance at second slip.

Worcestershire continued to make inroads and James Wharton (8) was beaten all ends up by a Pennington delivery angled in which knocked the off stump out of the ground.

There was more joy for Pennington when Jonathan Tattersall (21) suffered the fate against an in-swinging yorker.

Hill (52) completed his half-century, but then came Leach’s big milestone, and the Yorkshire batter was plumb lbw to another delivery which nipped back in.

Yorkshire were then 177-6, but Matthew Revis (51) and Dom Bess (48) counter-attacked adding an unbroken 85 in 14.4 overs before the declaration.

When Worcestershire batted for the second time, Roderick was caught at mid-off from the first delivery of the innings from Ben Coad.

Azhar Ali got off the mark with an edge for four to the second ball he faced from Coad.

But on seven, he was undone by a Matt Milnes delivery which shaped away and was taken at second slip before bad light stopped play for the day at 4.20.