Friday, June 30th, 2017

Rhodes: Encouraging Signs Despite Frustration Of Weather

Rhodes: Encouraging Signs Despite Frustration Of Weather

Steve Rhodes was pleased with Worcestershire's overall performance despite denied the opportunity to push for "a great victory" in the Specsavers County Championship match with Durham at the Emirates.

The County had to be content with 12 points after the last two and a half days were washed out when they were strongly placed to clock up a sixth win in eight games.

Other results did not go kindly for them either with third placed Kent escaping with a fortunate draw away to leaders Nottinghamshire and then in-form Northamptonshire edging out Leicestershire by two runs.

But Director of Cricket Rhodes is delighted with Worcestershire being in second spot heading into the final six games of the campaign.

He told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "That would have been a great victory particularly with the likes of Rushworth, Wood and Stokes, a very good attack.

"But we have got lots of positives from the game. "Getting into a good position is one thing, bowling them out is another thing, and there were some partnerships down our order – but Brett D'Oliveira in particular scored a wonderful hundred against a very good attack in conditions conduisive to a little bit of movement.

"We got 12 points. That's a bonus that we managed to get a 350 plus score here. There are not a lot of teams who get that sort of figure in their first innings particularly when the overhead conditions were helpful to swing and seam."

Rhodes added: "To be second in the table, we are delighted and we are trying desperately to be hot on the heels of Nottinghamshire.

"I always felt it was a really tough division and the ultimate aim was for us to be in the top three going into the last six weeks of the season and anything can happen there."

Rhodes believes a way has to be found to prevent the pink duke ball, trialled in this round of Championship matches, from going soft as early as it did in an innings.

He said: "It is a decent ball. I just think you can't have a ball going soft between 20, 30 maybe 40 overs.

"There is a lot of play left in the ball until you get a new ball at 80 overs so they've got to try and find a way of improving that, making it last a little bit longer.

"You expect natural deterioration round about the 45 over mark that makes batting a little bit easier.

"But it has been difficult to test up here in Durham, certainly with the wet overhead conditions.

"We can only give feedback and opinion on our game. It is probably fairer to make an assessment on a drier area of the country."