Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Rhodes Hails “very Special” Run Chase As Worcs Climb Into Promotion Spot

Rhodes Hails “very Special” Run Chase As Worcs Climb Into Promotion Spot

Steve Rhodes paid tribute to a "very special" run chase as Worcestershire overpowered Kent by four wickets to move into the top two of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two promotion battle.

Evergreen Daryl Mitchell and rising star Joe Clarke both hit centuries as Worcestershire reached their daunting 399 target with 19.1 overs to spare.

Mitchell hit his fourth ton in five games while Clarke clocked up two hundreds in a Championship game for the first time in his blossoming career.

Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: "A great game and obviously delighted to win. I think we should pay tribute to Joe Denly's knock as well. It was a fantastic knock. He was very difficult to bowl at, he was very solid.

"But then that chase by us was very special, the start we got, the impetus from Dolly (Brett D'Oliveira) and Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) and Moeen (Ali) and then what was probably the match-winning stand between Mitch and Joe Clarke.

"We needed two guys to get centuries and we got that.

"Joe (Clarke) has been short of runs this season and it has hurt him and he showed his sheer determination of making the most of being in good nick.

"To get two hundreds in a game is a wonderful effort and he is definitely the man of the match.

"Mitch has been wonderful and he is back to his best isn't he. The good thing is he knows how to bat in all conditions and you don't need to tell him what to do.

"He is very much a bloke who has been around for long enough now to understand all conditions and all types of bowlers and all wickets."

Worcestershire's chase was the third highest most successful in their history and they negated the threat of Pakistan leg spinner Yasir Shah for most of the day before he enjoyed a late flurry of wickets when the game was virtually won.

Rhodes said: "Some of the critics said in their articles that we would struggle to get over 200, we've got 400 and hopefully one in particular will realise we've got some decent players here!"

Worcestershire bounced back in superb style from successive Championship setbacks against Sussex and Glamorgan and the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final reversal to Sussex.

Rhodes said: "We did have a couple of tough games in the Championship, albeit games where we played well in spells, and no-one wants to lose in a semi-final.

"But we are mature enough to understand we are not going to go through seasons in the vein we were doing.

"At one stage we were just winning all the time and that doesn't always last.

"We came up against some good teams who at times played better than us so to get back on the right tracks with a victory here was really important.

"There has been a lot of talk of the team on a high but then on a slide but hopefully that will just show people we are very determined to make sure we see the season through."