Sunday, May 2nd, 2021


Daryl Mitchell says it is about setting and achieving small targets if Worcestershire are to emulate their heroics at Chelmsford and Derby and bat through the final day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Essex at New Road to earn a draw.

The opener hit his second successive half-century as Worcestershire reached 302-5 by the close of the penultimate day in reply to Essex’s 561-8 declared.

They need another 110 to avoid the possibility of being asked to follow on with Jake Libby, Tom Fell and Brett D’Oliveira, also making sizeable contributions on a still slow pitch.

Mitchell said: “It is about setting small little targets. We got through the small session on the second evening, and then it’s about trying to get through the new ball with the seamers and then formulating a plan to try and counter Simon Harmer.

“He bowled particularly well all day but certainly in that last half hour before lunch and got it to spin.

“It’s an old cliché, but take each ball as it comes, try and get to the sanitising breaks, get to lunch, get to tea and see where you are at by the end of the day.

“Are we confident? You always have to back yourself in any situation. We’ve done it twice already this year, batted out for draws, and hopefully, we can in this game as well.

“Saturday was a good day, but Sunday we have to start again. It’s a long six hours, and we have to play well to survive.

“The slowness of the surface has affected every bowler in this game. There is not a lot of pace and bounce in the wicket. There have been a lot of nicks that have dropped short of the slip fielders.

“The pitch is not going to get any better, it’s only going to break up and get worse, and the first target is starting again in the morning; get through that initial burst and hopefully get closer and closer to the follow on target.”

There will be eight points up for grabs if Worcestershire can achieve a fourth successive draw.

Mitchell said: “With the increased bonus points, it puts a lot more value on a draw.

“I think that is the idea from the ECB, to try and create that fight and get those batters who want to get through those tough situations.”