Wednesday, September 15th, 2021


Charlie Morris’ superb six-wicket haul and another sizeable contribution with the bat from Gareth Roderick proved in vain as Worcestershire went down by 101 runs to Middlesex on the final day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Lord’s.

Morris finished with figures of 6-52 from 22.4 overs – the seventh five-wicket haul of his first-class career – in his first Championship appearance since May.

The 29-year-old had picked up three wickets in his first spell in reducing Middlesex to 39-4, and he produced a similar spell this morning to polish off the Middlesex innings for 237 in 93.4 overs.

The last four wickets went down for just 14 runs in 13.4 overs this morning, with Club Captain Joe Leach also bowling superbly.

Worcestershire were left a 221 target in a minimum of 83 overs, and Roderick again showed his quality in the testing conditions.

He followed his first-innings 42 by making an unbeaten 42 from 77 balls with eight fours in an encouraging sign after a challenging first season at New Road.

But only Ed Barnard was able to supply solid support, and Worcestershire were bowled out for 119 in 35.3 overs.

The Middlesex seam quartet of Ethan Bamber, Martin Andersson, Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh exploited the conditions to good effect.

Middlesex resumed on 233-6 from 83 overs after the third-day wash-out – an overall lead of 206 – but they were bowled in just 45 minutes for only 14 more runs.

Batsman John Simpson and Luke Hollman were given a demanding examination by Leach and Morris.

They caused plenty of problems with a second new ball which was only three overs old, when play resumed on the final day.

Simpson edged Leach just short of keeper Ben Cox and first slip Jack Haynes.

Hollman was also fortunate when a genuine nick of Morris fell inches in front of Daryl Mitchell at second slip.

But Worcestershire were not to be denied, and Leach picked up the prized wicket of Simpson before he had added to his overnight score of 59.

He came around the wicket, and Simpson edged a delivery that seamed away and was comfortably caught by Haynes at 239-7.

Only one run had been added when Toby Roland-Jones (1) was plumb lbw to Morris.

He then completed his five-wicket haul when another excellent ball accounted for Hollman, who feathered through to Cox.

At that stage, Morris had figures of 5-49 from 22 overs – and he soon wrapped up the innings.

Left-hander Tim Murtagh (0) backed away but only skewed an outside edge in the air to the safe hands of Brett D’Oliveira at point.

Leach ended with an analysis of 24-12-35-2 and deserved a better reward for his sterling efforts.

Worcestershire made a positive start in pursuit of their target in still helpful conditions for seam bowlers.

Jake Libby collected the first boundary of the innings with a cover drive off Ethan Bamber, and Mitchell clipped Murtagh off his legs for his first four.

Libby (6) was undone by an excellent delivery angled in from Bamber down the Lord’s slope, and he was caught behind by Simpson to leave him five runs short of the 1,000 mark.

Mitchell (7) pushed firmly at Murtagh and nicked through to Sam Robson, who held onto the chance away to his left at second slip.

Gareth Roderick, who had made an impressive 42 in Worcestershire’s first innings, was soon into double figures with the help of two boundaries to third man.

He then cover drove Bamber to the ropes in impressive fashion.

Jack Haynes (9) was dismissed in the first over from Toby Roland-Jones when he lost his off stump after pushing forward.

Roderick and D’Oliveira took Worcestershire to 46-3 off 15 overs at lunch.

Worcestershire added only five runs before D’Oliveira (2) was caught at cover off Roland-Jones, but then Roderick and Barnard gave Worcestershire renewed hope.

The fifth-wicket pair both played positively, and Barnard got off the mark with a boundary on the up off Roland-Jones through the covers and then repeated the shot.

Roderick also scored quickly, and the partnership added 43 in just 9.2 overs before Martin Andersson struck twice in one over.

Having made 28 off 40 balls with five fours, Barnard was caught behind a delivery that hit the seam and had extra carry.

Three balls later, Cox (4) was lbw to a ball which nipped back in at 98-6.

Roderick was joined by Leach, who has made several significant contributions with the bat in recent games to add to his fine bowling.

He quickly showed positive intent and smashed Bamber through the covers for four.

But, as the floodlights came on, a superb ball from Bamber from wide of the crease knocked out the off stump of Leach (11).

First innings batting hero Josh Baker, who had made a career best 61, could not repeat his performance and was bowled for two in the same over pushing forward.

Morris (1) played back to Andersson and was also bowled, and the game ended when Simpson held onto an edge by Pennington (1) off Bamber.