Saturday, August 8th, 2020

LIBBY & D’OLIVEIRA HIT LIBBY & D’OLIVEIRA HIT CENTURIES

Jake Libby scored a splendid century on his Blackfinch New Road debut for Worcestershire CCC and there was also a fine hundred from Brett D’Oliveira as the home side enjoyed another day of dominance with the bat in the Bob Willis Trophy encounter with Glamorgan.

The pair put on an unbroken 239 and established a new Worcestershire fourth wicket record in matches against Glamorgan.

It provided rich entertainment with Libby ending unbeaten on 142 and D’Oliveira 123 not out from a total of 309-3 in 91 overs.

Libby reached three figures when he cut spinner Kieran Bull for three out of 221-3 in the 72nd over.

It came off 205 balls and contained 11 fours and he received a standing ovation from his team-mates in the Graeme Hick Pavilion.

Libby had also scored 77 when making his first appearance for the County against Gloucestershire at Bristol since his winter move from Nottinghamshire on a three-year contract.

D’Oliveira’s knock was equally superb and he completed the eighth first class century of his career from 183 deliveries with 14 fours.

The fourth wicket pair came together at 70-3 shortly before lunch after some fine bowling by Michael Hogan had seen him pick up three wickets.

Home skipper Joe Leach opted to bat as beautiful weather greeted Worcestershire’s return to action at Blackfinch New Road.

Worcestershire showed one change from the team which achieved an eight wicket win over Gloucestershire at Bristol with paceman Dillon Pennington replacing the rested Josh Tongue.

Daryl Mitchell (0), who had scored an excellent 80 at Bristol, was dismissed in the first over of the morning from Michael Hogan when caught down by the legside by keeper Chris Cooke.

Tom Fell (8) departed to the same combination when he pushed forward to a ball outside the off stump and nicked through to Cooke.

Libby looked composed and clipped Hogan off his legs for the first boundary of the innings.

New batsman Jack Haynes, fresh from his maiden first class half century at Bristol, immediately looked in good touch.

He got off the mark with a back foot cover drive for four at Wagg’s expense and cut Douthwaite to the boundary.

The third wicket pair experienced few alarms in adding 48 in 16 overs before Haynes (21) attempted to hook Hogan just before lunch and was caught at backward square leg by Dan Douthwaite.

Libby was unbeaten on 43 off 84 balls at the interval out of 77-3 from 29 overs.

The 27-year-old survived a chance to Charlie Hemphrey at second slip off van der Gugten before he added to his tally.

But a splendid straight drive for four off the same bowler completed a fine half century for Libby from 94 balls with seven boundaries.

D’Oliveira also looked full of confidence after his 91 not out against Gloucestershire and he cut Douhwaite for four to bring up the 100 in the 34th over.

He and Libby scored freely and the 50 stand was completed in just 13 overs.

The fourth wicket pair both hit two boundaries apiece in successive overs from spinner Kieran Bull.

D’Oliveira’s cover drive to the ropes brought up his own excellent half century from 78 balls and also the hundred partnership from 25 overs.

By tea Libby had moved onto 85 and D’Oliveira 63 out of 188-3 from 60 overs.

The pair accelerated in the final session with D’Oliveira having one slice of good fortune when on 67 as Hemphrey failed to grasp a difficult chance at slip off Bull.

But otherwise it was dominance by bat over ball and D’Oliveira’s square drive off Hogan took him to his eighth first class ton.

Now Worcestershire will be looking to push on in the remaining 29 overs of their innings tomorrow towards another substantial total.