george rhodes celebrated his first century for worcestershire and was quick to praise the contribution of “cool customer” ben cox who accompanied him in a match-winning partnership against yorkshire vikings in the royal london one-day cup.
all-rounder rhodes and wicket-keeper cox put on 169 for the fifth wicket – a record for any wicket in list a matches against the tykes – in a 150 run success at New Road.
he has been in fine early season form in the seconds and capitalised on his call-up against yorkshire after unfortunately being run out for five in mid-week against notts outlaws.
rhodes said: “it was obviously a little bit of a surprise at the start of the day with mitch (daryl mitchell) unfortunately getting injured but i’m really happy with my innings.
“everyone nowadays has to prepare to play because things like this (mitchell’s injury) do happen.
“like coxy the other day and mitch this time, it is unfortunate for those guys at the time. fingers crossed mitch will be back and he will be scoring another hundred.
“you’ve got to be alert to playing all the time.”
rhodes and cox initially concentrated on rebuilding the innings after joining forces at 63-4 before cutting loose in the final part of their partnership.
rhodes said: “we had no momentum at that point. it was quite tricky, they were bowling well – but credit to coxy.
“it’s so good to have such an experienced, cool customer at the other end for me.
“we tried to ride the storm a little bit, soak up some momentum. we had a bit of luck in the middle to late period but sometimes you deserve that when you do ride the storm.
“it was a little tough when we got in but we were glad to put that partnership (169) together and get us into a position to get 293.
“we’ve got very capable batters down the order, throughout the order, so at the time it was a case of ‘let’s just absorb this pressure and hopefully change it around.’
“we decided on the pitch and the way they bowled just to sit in. that was the plan and eventually we both got going after a slow start.
“the kind of team we are, when we’ve got hitters like ross (whiteley) and barny (ed barnard) and wayne (parnell) behind us, we can afford to soak up a little bit of pressure when we are under the pump.
“that’s credit to those guys coming in who can whack the ball miles from ball one.”
there were joyous scenes when rhodes went to three figures including a bear hug from wayne parnell.
rhodes said: “wayne is a quality player who has played a lot of cricket so it was quite nice to get a hug from a player of that calibre at the other end and to see a few lads on the balcony.
“i’m delighted we won and we’ve got a little bit of momentum as a team now going into the monday against derbyshire.
“hopefully we finish well. we’ve got to take every day as it comes.”
rhodes says competition for places is increasingly stronger at New Road.
he said: “we’ve got a very strong squad at the moment and players who aren’t playing in this squad that are very good players.
“there is always that pressure to perform and i probably call it expectation because we are growing as a squad.
“it’s nice to have a bit of time at the crease with the seconds over the last few weeks.
“it’s invaluable sometimes, time at the crease. hopefully next time i get an opportunity i’ll knuckle down and try and cement my place a little bit more.
“but we’ve got a strong squad and it’s very healthy and it’s no coincidence that we are winning games off the back of that so there is that expectation to do well.”