Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Mason: Clash With The Tykes Is “evenly Poised” At The Half-Way Stage

Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason says the LV = County Championship clash with champions Yorkshire is "evenly poised" at the half-way stage.

Mason, who is also the county's bowling coach, is hoping there will be more turn for the county's spin duo of newcomer Sachithra Senanayake and Moeen Ali during the second half of the game.

Worcestershire were dismissed for 311 and then Yorkshire closed the second day on 298-9 in a game which has see-sawed with first one side and then the other enjoying periods in the ascendancy.

Mason said: "The second day was a really good day's cricket. Both teams fought really hard. I thought in the morning we did a really good job to get over that 300 mark. We were all pleased with that.

"Then we had a great start with the ball – as they did as well – and then a partnership formed (between Lees and Pyrah) but we hung in there.

"It is a good wicket. It is a really good wicket to bat on. It can be tough with the newer ball but generally once you are in it looks god to bat.

"I was pleased with the way we stuck to our guns. I'd have liked to think we could have finished things off when they were 193-7. I thought it was a chance to get a lead but to be fair to Tim Bresnan, he played a very good innings.

"When the ball becomes softer, it is easier to bat, definitely, and there wasn't as much turn as we thought there might be. I know it's only day two but we thought it was dry enough to spin a little bit.

"But there wasn't a lot there for our two spinners. Maybe on day four they may come into the game.

"To finish them off early is the plan and then bat very, very well."

Mason added: "Is 300 a par score? Perhaps a little bit more. Both teams will probably say there has been some good batting and some loose batting as well. Maybe that is indicative of the start of the season with guys being a little bit nervous.

"It's going to be a really good game. It's evenly poised. That important third innings of the match will go a long way to deciding the outcome, for sure.

"It is suposed to be warmer during the rest of the game. and if the sun bakes down on that wicket a little bit, it might help us out last day with the spinners and just dry out a little bit."

Mason knows the importance of Worcestershire staying at the top of their game throughout the four days.

He said: "You can't afford bad session, not even a bad half hour. You can suddenly lose momentum so quickly and the quality of cricketer in the First Division is high.

"There is depth in bowling and batting so you can't afford to give opposition a way in otherwise they will take it."

Mason was delighted with the contributions of Gareth Andrew (59 and four wickets) and Jack Shantry (four wickets).

He said: "Gaz has had a realy good game so far and it's just great to see him back out there bowling.

"He got through 20 overs and he feels really good, and is amongst the wickets. Things happen with Gaz in a game of cricket, whether it's with bat or ball.

"He's an integral part of our side so it was great to have him back.

"Jack is a fantastic bowler, what a competitor. He is different, these guys won't have seen a lot of him, and I'm just pleased he is in our side and not someone else's."