Friday, April 14th, 2023


Opener Ed Pollock illuminated a rain shortened second day as Worcestershire made a strong start with the bat in reply to Durham’s 425-9 declared on day two of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at the Seat Unique Riverside. 

The left hander raced to 41 off just 26 balls and produced a series of powerful strokes before being dismissed by Matthew Potts. 

Azhar Ali and Jake Libby then dug in and Worcestershire had reached 96-2 off 25.5 overs when rain halted play mid-way through the afternoon session. 

Durham resumed on 363-7 and Worcestershire pace bowler Ben Gibbon came close to claiming his fifth wicket of the innings. 

Ben Raine lobbed a delivery from the left armer just short of Brett D’Oliveira at mid wicket and then Paul Coughlin played and missed after pushing forward. 

The eighth wicket pair extended their partnership to 101 when Adam Finch made the first breakthrough of the day when he trapped Coughlin (42) lbw. 

The total stood on 415-8 at the end of 110 overs with Worcestershire collecting two bonus bowling points.

Dillon Pennington came into the attack and picked up his first wicket of the innings when Raine (71) was caught by Gibbon at deep mid wicket. 

Durham immediately declared and Gibbon had figures of 26-5-92-4, Finch 21-3-84-3, Joe Leach 24-4-82-1 and Pennington 20.3-4-84-1. 

Pollock immediately took the attack to the Durham opening attack of Raine and Matt Potts in the pre-lunch session. 

The left hander hit five boundaries in Raine’s first two overs and Potts also came in for heavy punishment as the 50 came up in just 5.4 overs. 

Pollock had raced onto 41 from 26 balls with nine boundaries when aimed a drive down the ground and was bowled by Potts but he had given the innings early momentum.

Azhar Ali also looked in good touch and had moved onto 16 from just 18 balls by lunch which was taken at 67-1 from 10 overs. 

The Pakistan star and Libby had to graft harder for runs in the afternoon session against Coughlin and Raine. 

Libby, an unbeaten century-maker in the win over Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground, was determined to dig in and see off the new ball. 

His first boundary came from the 51st delivery he faced, a thick edge to third man off Jonathan Bushnell. 

But he then showed his quality in clipping Potts off his legs for four. 

The second wicket pair added 46 in 20 overs and the floodlights were switched on as the light became gloomier. 

Azhar was eventually lbw to Potts for 29 off 65 balls but there was no time for any more action before the players left the field for rain at 2.40pm. 

Libby, who passed 5,000 first class runs during the game at Derby, will resume on Saturday on 19 not out from 63 balls