Sunday, August 14th, 2022


Worcestershire Rapids captain Jake Libby struck his maiden List A century in the Royal London Cup encounter with Derbyshire at New Road today.

There was also a career-best return in the competition with the ball of 3-54 by Adam Finch, and he and Dillon Pennington also achieved Royal London Cup best performances with the bat.

But the Rapids went down by 47 runs in reply to Derbyshire’s 312-9 from 50 overs after Luis Reece hit his List A best score of 136.

Libby surpassed his previous best of 76 against Durham at New Road last summer before reaching three figures off just 115 balls with one six and eight fours.

There was spirited late resistance from Pennington and Finch in stands of 67 and 61 as the Rapids were dismissed for 265 in 48.5 overs.

Hundreds of spectators took advantage of Worcestershire, giving away tickets to families affected by Storm Dennis 2020.

Libby elected to bowl first, and Ben Gibbon was rewarded for a tight opening spell when Harry Came was caught behind after an expansive drive.

Derbyshire were made to work hard for their runs and were restricted to 43-1 from the initial powerplay against Joe Leach and Gibbon.

The second wicket pair of Reece and Shan Masood played themselves in before gradually accelerating.

Reece completed an 82-ball half-century, with Masood requiring 46 deliveries to bring up his fifty.

Derbyshire reached 163-1 in the 31st over, but then the impressive Adam Finch struck twice in the space of three balls.

Masood, on 63, was undone by a ball which bounced on him and edged through to keeper Ben Cox and Brooke Guest hooked his second delivery straight to Gibbon at deep square leg.

Reece’s excellent knock ended on 136 when he struck a Taylor Cornall full toss straight to long off.

His 142-ball innings contained three sixes and 15 fours.

There was further success for Cornall when Anuj Dal, having raced to 46 off 34 deliveries, found the safe hands of Ed Barnard at deep cover.

Worcestershire collected a flurry of wickets in the closing stages of the innings.

Mattie McKiernan (16) sliced Pennington to third man, and the pace bowler accounted for Ben Aitchison and debutant Archie Harrison in his final over while Alex Hughes was bowled by Finch.

Finch finished with figures of 10-0-54-3, Pennington 10-0-59-3, Cornall 3-0-23-2 and Gibbon 9-0-64-1.

When Worcestershire launched their reply, they lost a trio of early wickets to Sam Conners with the new ball.

Cornall (0) was strangled down the leg side and Ed Pollock (4), recalled to the side in place of the injured Kashif Ali, drove to mid off.

Azhar Ali (11) gave keeper Guest a second catch off Conners at 35-3 in the ninth over.

Reece came into the attack and struck in successive overs, with Ed Barnard (19) nicking through to Guest and Ben Cox (12) bowled through the gate.

Libby batted with plenty of fluency and reached an excellent half-century off 52 balls with six boundaries.

Henry Cullen (8), making his second appearance in the competition, chopped on when Aitchison returned to the attack.

Joe Leach (2) swung across the line to Dal and was lbw, and Pennington (35) was bowled by McKiernan after adding 67 with Libby for the eighth wicket.

Libby scooped Nick Potts for six to move onto 99 and then a single from the next delivery took him to three figures from 115 balls with one six and eight fours.

He ended undefeated on 126 from 127 balls after Nick Potts dismissed Finch (24) and Gibbon (11) to polish off the innings.