Monday, April 14th, 2014

Rhodes Hoping “really Good Things To Come” From Alexei After Fluent Knock

Rhodes Hoping “really Good Things To Come” From Alexei After Fluent Knock

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes hopes Alexei Kervezee's fluent half century against Kent is "the start of really good things to come" after an evenly balanced opening day of the LV County Championship fixture at New Road.

Kervezee top-scored for the home side with 54 – his first half century in the competition since September 2012 – as Worcestershire reached 224 all out and then reduced Kent to 39-2 by the close.

The potential of the Dutch international has never been in question and he has stressed his determination to repay the faith shown in him by Rhodes and the coaching staff.

Rhodes said: "I'm thinking that's a start, I'm hoping that's a start of really good things to come and Alexei was quite comfortable at the crease.

"He will be disappointed to get out in the way he got out but, to me, it was a big bonus that he spent a bit of time at the crease and got some runs under his belt.

"Hopefully he will be able to kick on with some sort of form now."

Skipper Daryl Mitchell (47) and Moeen (41) were the other main contributors after Worcestershire had chosen to bat.

Rhodes said: "We would have fancied to get a few more runs than we got. It was a little bit disappointing to get 220.

"Moeen played well, Alexei played well and Daryl was outstanding in trying to set up a score but sadly for them they got out for 40, 50, 40. With a little bit more from one of them, we would have had a score we really wanted.

"But it wasn't easy out there. The conditions were a slow, low wicket with a bit of turn and at times we got frustrated out a bit. But having said that, we fought back well.

"It was a wicket where at times you felt you didn't have your timing, the type of wicket that frustrates you a little bit, it doesn't come on quite as well as some of the other wickets.

"But having said that, it did play better than I thought it would so credit to the groundstaff in getting the thing going after such devastation from the floods."

Rhodes was full of praise for the performance of his bowlers during the final hour of the day in removing Kent skipper Rob Key and vice-captain Sam Northeast.

He said: "If they had gone into day two with no wickets down, then they would have been delighted.

"So to get rid of Rob Key, who we know can bat a long period of time, and Sam Northeast, captain and vice-captain so two key figures for Kent, was a huge bonus for us.

"I thought we bowled really well and we fielded well and looked sharp."