Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Read Joe Clarke’s Exclusive Blog

Read Joe Clarke’s Exclusive Blog

Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke will be blogging exclusively for throughout the season. I

n the third instalment, he discusses Tom Kohler-Cadmore's stunning T20 Blast ton, Tom Fell's superb news, and switching from red to white ball cricket.

Joe Clarke writes:

What a great night we had at New Road on Friday. Our first win of the season in our first Blast match, set up by a brilliant innings from Tom Kohler-Cadmore and finished off with five wickets for Joe Leach.

And all this on top of the amazing news we’d had from Tom Fell on Thursday, that he’d been given the all clear after chemotherapy to carry on with his cricket career.

Pepsi and Felly are housemates, and as I said in a previous blog, Pepsi has been raising money for Cancer Research by having his head shaved to show his support for Tom.

He’s going to stick with that for the rest of the season – and the way he batted on Friday, I’m not surprised. I’d say that’s the best knock I’ve seen live – 127 from 54 balls, with 14 fours and eight sixes, a couple of them sailing into New Road.

I had the pleasure of watching it from the other end for a little bit, and the striking was so clean. If he keeps going in this campaign I can definitely see him pushing himself for further honours.

I know Andy Flower, who was my coach with England Lions and the Performance Programme in the winter in Dubai with our own Steve Rhodes, was down at the ground on Friday night – so it was a good time for Pepsi to put on an absolute show.

I’m sure Andy will go back and speak to the right people about his knock, and hopefully it puts his name in the hat.

Since I joined the club he’s been on a similar pathway into the first team as me. So I’ve played quite a lot of cricket with him. He’s got immense talent.

He’s shown that in the longer format as well at the start of the season, with a good century against Essex. But he really enjoys this Twenty20 stuff – this is his favourite one I’d say, he thrives on the big crowds and the opportunities to hit the ball out of the stands.

It wasn’t a one-man show though. Joe Leach was superb with the ball, taking five wickets after Durham had got off to a flier.

Joe’s really come out of his shell over the last couple of years. He’d been pushing and pushing to get a first team spot. But now he’s got the vice captaincy, so he’s one of the leaders out there.

He just consistently puts in performances with the ball. And with the bat he’s so handy to have coming in down the order in Championship and T20 cricket – he can clear the ropes or he can play proper knocks when required.

We’re quite excited about the team we’ve put together for the Blast, even when Moeen Ali is away with England.

Our two new Kiwi boys, Mitch Santner and Matt Henry, have both been amazing really. They’ve both fitted in really well.

Sants showed what sort of class he has against Durham, when his economy rate really stood out. We were all watching him in the World T20 and how he was making people look silly over there.

Henners has done really well in our Championship stuff, and although he’d have liked a couple more wickets in the Blast, his time will come – maybe in our next game on next Friday against Birmingham at Edgbaston.

That’s one we’re all really looking forward to. You don’t have long to celebrate or reflect on a win though – with another Championship game starting at Leicester on Sunday.

It’s all quite new to me, switching from white ball to red ball, and as things stand I’m ok with it – have a good long hit in the nets on Saturday, and get back to leaving a few balls rather than trying to hit everything out of the ground. But after a few weeks of it I might be saying different.

I think the general view is that having blocks set aside for white ball cricket is the way to go – and that’s the way we seem to be heading. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

Last but not least, Felly. We all knew he was going for this final scan after his chemo had finished to see if it had done its work. He texted me on Thursdaysaying he’d got the all clear.

Hopefully that’s the last bit of it, and just a blip in his life he’s had to go through, and he can carry on with his cricket career now.

He’s got the ability to go on to play for England I believe. Hopefully he can get himself back in the nets now and back into the first team – and I can drop back down to number four!