Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Rhodes: Players Wanted To Win Game In Honour Of D’oliveira

Rhodes: Players Wanted To Win Game In Honour Of D’oliveira

Steve Rhodes has revealed the determination of the Worcestershire players to win the home LV = County Championship clash with Glamorgan in honour of Academy director Damian D'Oliveira who passed away on Sunday.

D'Oliveira was responsible for the development of many of the current first team squad and the announcement of his death by Director of Cricket Rhodes on the outfield before the start of play on the first day understandably prompted great sadness.

But there was also a focus on "doing it for Dolly" and that was rewarded with a 249 run win which puts Worcestershire back on top of Division Two – 12 points clear of Hampshire and 28 in front of third placed Surrey.

Rhodes said: "We started this game with me addressing the players and telling them about what happened with Damian and there were a lot of sad faces.

"They almost made it a mission to try their best to win this game in honour of Damian.

"It has been a tough week all-round but everyone is very proud that we could pull off a victory for Damian.

"Right at the end there Mitch (skipper Daryl Mitchell) again mentioned in the dressing room why we won that game and again it was very moving.

"We've done this for Dolly. The lads were very close to Damian and he had a lot of influence on their careers at an early age.

"It's their way of repaying and possibly saying goodbye to Damian."

Spinner Saeed Ajmal returned figures of 7-34 after Charlie Morris with 3-14 had made the initial breakthroughs as Glamorgan were dismissed for 105 mid-way through the afternoon session.

But Rhodes said: "It was a great effort all-round to win this game even though Saeed took so many wickets. He couldn't do it on his own.

"After being 39-3 on the first day, the two Toms (Fell and Kohler-Cadmore) pulled it around and we fought back hard with the ball, taking wickets, and I thought Charlie Morris's spell today was exceptional.

"Before that Moeen and Richard Oliver yesterday had a really good partnership. It was too-ing and fro-ing and getting us into a good position and we've taken some great catches today and catches do win matches."

Rhodes praised the quality of the wicket produced by groundsman Tim Packwood and it was not the spinners paradise that those studying Ajmal's figures might be led to believe.

He said: "I must say Tim has produced a fantastic cricket wicket there and it has done a bit of everything and yet you can also score runs on it.

"It's what Saeed wants. He doesn't want big turning pitches. He knows he can bowl people out on wickets that just do a little bit.

"It did bounce for him today and when he gets to the middle order players and the tail, he is devastating.

"That's the reason why we try and hang off a little bit before bringing him on. We really work hard with the seamers and it shouldn't go unnoticed the opening spell that Charlie bowled.

"To take 3-14 off eight overs was outstanding and to get rid of two of their better players plus a very capable nightwatchman, that was a really good effort.

"It's a team game. Every bowler that bowled today, I thought bowled well and played their part. Certainly we took some great catches and I'm very proud."

Players and coaches took to social media to voice their support of D'Oliveira after the victory.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore wrote: "Emotional week but what a win. That's for you Dolly."

Gareth Andrew wrote: "Really proud of all the boys this week. A great win in such circumstances. Shows the unbelievable unity we have."

Assistant coach Matt Mason wrote: "Great win again from the Worcestershire lads. Great performance in a tough week and top of the league."

Physiotherapist Ben Davies wrote: "So proud of the Worcestershire boys. Emotional dressing room. We are going to do the right thing and have a glass of Pinot."

Skipper Daryl Mitchell wrote: "That one's for you Doll!!!"