Sunday, August 7th, 2022


Worcestershire went down by four wickets to Yorkshire Vikings despite another splendid attacking innings by Ben Cox in the Royal London Cup encounter at Scarborough.

Cox followed up his 59 not out against Kent at New Road by racing to 70 from 46 balls with three sixes and seven fours.

It followed on from captain Jake Libby’s accomplished 58 off 92 deliveries, which held the first part of the innings together after the Rapids had been put in to bat.

Cox came to the wicket at 119-5 in the 33rd over after Matthew Waite, who had a short loan spell at New Road earlier in the summer, had taken three wickets.

He shepherded Worcestershire to 246-8, but a maiden List A century from George Hill was largely responsible for Yorkshire triumphing with 16 balls to spare.

Worcestershire were left to reflect on not accepting chances offered by Hill on 53 and Waite on 23 off Joe Leach and Azhar Ali, respectively, and their ground fielding was below par.

They also had only four front-line bowlers in their line-up, and one of those in Ed Barnard did not return to the attack after having his finger taped up when struck by a fierce pull from Hill.

He was only able to bowl six overs, and it meant the occasional spin of Libby, Taylor Cornall and Azhar Ali having to juggle the remaining overs.

Waite struck with the new ball when Ed Pollock (8) chopped a delivery onto his stumps, and Azhar (7), having hit a six off Ben Coad over mid wicket, lofted a catch to mid off.

Gareth Roderick looked in good touch, striking successive boundaries off Matthew Revis, but after making  29 off 33 balls, he picked out deep square leg off Loten.

 Libby and Kashif Ali set about rebuilding the innings and added 42, but after taking the total to 94, Kashif (22) went back to cut spinner Jack Shutt and feathered through to the keeper.

Waite came back into the attack, and the in form Ed Barnard (12) holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Cox was full of attacking intent and got off the mark with his first delivery with a flat batted shot through extra cover for four off spinner Dom Bess.

Libby completed his half-century from 83 balls before his attempted pull against Coad flew straight up into the air, and he was caught behind.

Worcestershire were then 167-6 in the 41st over, but Cox moved into overdrive with a mixture of improvisation and powerful stroke-play.

Cornall (16) played a supporting role in a stand of 42 until he was bowled by a full length ball from Bess.

Cox’s fine knock ended in the final over when lbw to Bess but a quickfire 14 not out from Joe Leach helped give the innings late impetus.

When Yorkshire batted, Leach and Dillon Pennington made inroads with the new ball.

Former Worcestershire Academy player, Will Fraine, was lbw to Leach, and Will Luxton inside-edged a delivery from Pennington and was caught behind.

It became 37-3 when Harry Duke gave Cox a second catch when nicking a good delivery from Adam Finch.

Hill and Vikings captain, Jonathan Tattersall, launched a recovery with a partnership of 87 in 16 overs.

But Hill survived a dropped chance at deep mid-wicket off Leach when on 53. The stand was eventually broken when Tattersall (45) chopped on to Pennington at 124-4.

Waite came in to accompany Hill, and he was put down on 23 also in the deep off Azhar.

Hill reached three figures off 96 balls and added 76 with Waite (36), who was eventually run out by Barnard’s direct hit after Hill had pushed Cornall onto the off side.

Only six were needed when Hill’s fine knock ended on 130 when he found Azhar Ali at long on off Libby.