Saturday, July 29th, 2023


Century-maker Jake Libby is optimistic Worcestershire can follow up three days of high quality cricket by pushing for victory against Gloucestershire in the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Cheltenham College.

Worcestershire will begin the final day on 316-8 with an overall lead of 421 as they bid for a fourth victory in the competition.

Their attack will be looking to emulate their first innings performance in bowling out the home for 301 on a pitch which has gradually got flatter but still offers some encouragement to the bowlers.

Libby, who hit his third century of the season, said: “Nice to contribute but all-round we had a great day.

“The bowlers finished off the innings really well this morning and put us in a really strong position.

“I think if you bowl well and in good areas it is still a hard pitch to score on.

“We are going to have to bowl well to take 10 wickets tomorrow and I back our guys, certainly with the way we bowled first innings, to take them.

“Hopefully Bakes (Josh Baker) will come into the game as well. He bowled really well first innings and I think there will be a little bit more for him in the second innings.

“I think the new ball is going to be crucial, try and take a couple of poles there. It will be a long attritional day.

“We know we are going to have to work hard to get the wickets and we are willing to do that.

“We are really pleased with the position we are in. We’ve had three really good days here and hopefully we can top it off on the final day.”

Libby took his run tally to 909 for the season and was the cornerstone of the innings after the loss of three early wickets but Adam Hose and Brett D’Oliveira gave him excellent support in crucial partnerships.

It paved the way for Matthew Waite to hammer 62 off just 32 balls with six sixes.

Libby said: “I tried to stay positive. I knew we’d have to absorb periods of play where they would bowl really well and they did that after tea.

“You always get release balls and periods when you can score runs and that is how it felt today.

“To be honest, I didn’t move great at the start of my innings and I got going nicely after reaching 20.

“Adam Hose came in at a difficult time. He changed the momentum of the game, and it was a shame we couldn’t kick on after tea with him, but Brett (D’Oliveira) played brilliantly.

“What Waitey (Matthew Waite) did was fantastic, exactly what we needed, and more really. To come out and strike it the way he did was superb.

“I know it is a small ground but there were some big sixes and he hit them miles.

“It was great to have that impetus at the end of the day and puts us in a really strong position where we can do some serious thinking overnight.”