Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Leach Says County “have To Take Solace” From Overall Start To Campaign

Skipper Joe Leach said Worcestershire "have to take solace" from their overall start to the campaign after suffering a nine wicket loss to Glamorgan on day three of the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.

Worcestershire were bowled out for 129 shortly after lunch – to leave their opponents needing just 16 for victory – in a game where they had been in control after the first day.

Leach acknowledges that the way County's fortunes changed around in barely four sessions after being in a seemingly strong position to try and enforce the follow on was "unacceptable."

But he can also see the big picture and says Worcestershire would have been delighted with a return of four wins from six games had they been offered that at the start of the campaign.

He said: "We knew all along that we weren't going to have April to September all hunky dory and roses.

"We fought really hard at Hove (in the last match against Sussex). I was really impressed with the way we managed to fight in a losing cause down there.

"We've been disappointing here, we know that, but ultimately it is not the end of the world.

"It is a 14 game season and I suppose if you had offered us this start, having won four out of six, we would be very happy with that.

"That is what we have to take solace in and move forward."

As regards the defeat by Glamorgan, Leach said: "We've had a really poor day and a session there, having had a very good day one thanks to a couple of guys.

"Ben Cox's 90 there was a brilliant effort. He fought very hard for us as did Ed Barnard and then Josh Tongue's spelll on Friday evening was international calibre.

"There is no doubt about that. He has got a bright future ahead of him. From there, it has been a catalogue of errors and we are not overly happy with it.

"It has got away from us on day two and that has cost us. To start the day over 200 runs ahead with them having four wickets in hand and then not even give them a score to get in the fourth innings is unacceptable really.

"We have spoke about it already and we draw a line under it and we go again, first of all Saturday in the semi-final and then again a week tomorrow against Kent."

Leach added: "No-one managed to get themselves in and get going and do what we did in the first innings when we were up against it – and what we have done all season to be fair.

"We've not managed to do that and we didn't manage to break that partnership yesterday (between Rudolph and Cooke) and ultimately those are the reasons we lost the game.

"The ball did a little bit all game. There has been enough in it and there have been balls in the pitch if you stuck it in the right area.

"I thought Hogan was exceptional for them today. He hit the pitch really hard and made it difficucult for our batters and, when no-one gets in and you are always starting, you are always susceptible to those balls that move around.

"No-one has managed to dig in and get through and get us a score and get us 150-200 to bowl at because, the way we have been playing this season, that might have been enough."