Sunday, April 7th, 2024


Jake Libby praised a “special” innings from Kashif Ali and revealed the pair had already been team-mates long before they joined forces at Worcestershire.

Kashif followed his first innings century against Warwickshire by hitting 133 from 128 balls on day three of the Vitality County Championship fixture at Edgbaston.

He put on 200 for the second wicket with Libby (75 not out) as Worcestershire reached 237-2 – a lead of 264 – before rain halted play just four overs into the final session.

Libby said: “It was very impressive. There are only so many superlatives you’ve got for the guy with the way he has performed this week.

“He is having a fantastic game. I was in the great seat there watching him and it made my job really easy, just getting the singles and letting Kash destroy them from the other end.

“Very impressive. At times Warwickshire didn’t know what to do. I think he made it look a lot easier and flatter to score out there than it actually was.

Credit to him. It is obviously a great achievement. I tried to speak to him at times but in the end I thought I’d just leave him to it.

“He was hitting the ball that well and clearing the boundary by 20 yards.

“He was in a good spot. There were some heated exchanges at times out there but I think that got him going to be honest.

“When he clicks into gear he is really exciting to watch and luckily it came off today and long may that continue.”

Libby added: “I played with Kash at Notts quite a long time ago. He was a bit more of a leg spinner who batted as well.

“I was impressed with him there and I know Notts were at the time. I played in a handful of Seconds games with him.

“He bowled really good leg spin but it is nice to see his batting has taken over now!

“He has been on the radar for a few years and trialled with us and he is so talented and it’s great he is a Worcestershire player.”

Worcestershire quickly picked up the five remaining Warwickshire wickets with the second new ball to earn a first innings lead of 27 with New Zealander Nathan Smith impressing.

Libby said: “I thought we finished things off really well this morning. It could have gone one or two ways really.

“If they had got a lead, it could have put them in the box seats but we bowled really well. The bowlers did a great job to restrict them to what they did.

“Nathan Smith’s experience with the Kookaburra ball made a massive difference. He bowled really well, showed his class.”

Libby says Worcestershire will adopt a positive outlook on the final day.

He said: “The talk at tea was how we can force a result, and play to positively. Kash’s innings accelerated the situation.

“I think we are going to have a think overnight about how we go about things tomorrow. Losing this final session has condensed the game now.

“But we are going to be positive about it and see what we can do. We are going to try and put pressure on them and make them work hard to get the points.”