Monday, May 9th, 2016

Mason Frustration At Weather But Satisfaction With Worcs Performance

Mason Frustration At Weather But Satisfaction With Worcs Performance

Matt Mason admitted to a mixture of frustration and satisfaction after Worcestershire dominated day two of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium.

Frustration at the intervention of the weather with Glamorgan reeling at 42-4 in reply to Worcestershire's 456-6 declared and causing the loss of 45 overs in the day.

But satisfaction at the efforts with the bat of double centurion Brett D'Oliveira and Joe Clarke in ensuring maximum batting points for a third successive game harnessed to excellent new ball bowling from Joe Leach and Ed Barnard.

Assistant-coach Mason told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "We were very frustrated in the dressing room (by the rain) because we feel like we had them on toast there.

"Very frustrating that the weather intervened but what a fantastic day it was again and great to see young Brett Dolly get his 200, a great effort.

"Everyone is so happy for him and obviously Clarkey as well played so well to set up the game.

"Then I thought the way we started with the ball was probably our best opening spell this season.

"Ed Barnard and Joe Leach made them play, got the ball doing plenty off the wicket and through the air."

The trio of maximum points hauls have come with the bat whereas for the past three seasons it has been the bowlers who have constantly achieved top points returns.

Mason, who is also the county's bowling coach, said: "It has been a different story this year. The batting has been fantastic and the bowling has taken a little while to catch the batsmen in terms of form.

"These young players have got so much confidence and self belief and Bumpy (Steve Rhodes) and myself, we back them – as does Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) the captain and they go out and express themselves and it is paying dividends.

"But this game, the way we started today is more like what we are used to from our Worcestershire bowlers and that is a great sign."

D'Oliveira (202 not out) and Clarke (133) added 253 for the third wicket and the only blip of the day was the loss of three wickets cheaply just prior to lunch.

Mason said: "That wasn't exactly as we planned it. We didn't quite execute what we wanted do there.

"We were always going to try and chase 450 as quickly as we could and unfortunately a couple of lads suffered but again they were putting the team first and we can only ask for that.

"Our thinking was to set a follow target over 300 because you can bat okay and still scrape past that follow on.

"We wanted to try and put it out of their reach and also with Brett, with 200 looming it would have been wrong of us not to let him get to that milestone as well.

"But the forefront of our thinking was definitely that 300 mark and to put them under some real pressure."

Glamorgan batsman Chris Cooke said: "Our backs are against the wall here, but we're still in the game fighting and there's a big two days to go.

"The scoreboard pressure is there but we've all been in that situation and we are professional players, it shouldn't really affect us that much, but they bowled really well and took advantage of some good bowling conditions.

"If the weather comes in, it comes in but we need to be prepared to bat for a couple of sessions, but we need to stick together as a group and put in a good batting performance.

"We've got Craig Meschede at nine which is an absolute luxury so we'll be looking to still put a good performance in. We're a close-knit bunch of guys and there's always a good spirit there. It has been a difficult start but it hasn't affected morale."

Rain prevented play from getting underway on time on the third day and the prospects of play for the forseeable future are gloomy.