Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Rhodes Praises Bowlers And Batters After County Move Into Pole Position

Rhodes Praises Bowlers And Batters After County Move Into Pole Position

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes praised an outstanding batting and bowling display from Worcestershire as an innings and 64 runs win over Derbyshire lifted them to the top of the LV = County Championship Division Two table.

Worcestershire collected a maximum 24 points haul from their victory by mid afternoon on the final day after dismissing Derbyshire for 149 in their second innings.

Overseas signing Saeed Ajmal returned match figures of 8-100 from 46.3 overs in his first appearance since returning to the county for a second spell.

But pace trio Charlie Morris, Gareth Andrew and Jack Shantry also made important contributions in ensuring Worcestershire followed up the 125 run win over Kent with another crushing victory.

On the batting front openers Daryl Mitchell and Matt Pardoe laid a solid platform for stroke-makers Moeen Ali and Alexei Kervezee before wicket-keeper Ben Cox and Gareth Andrew cut loose to take the total past the 400 mark.

Rhodes said: "We have started putting things together and started to play a little bit like teams played against us in Division One where you hang in there in the game and take the moment to really capitalise and that really was from tea on the third day.

"The way we batted got ourselves in a position where we could really challenge on the last day and I think it knocked the stuffing out of Derby apart from Wayne Madsen who had an outstanding game.

"That was as good a batting performance as we've put together for a long time. If you look at how an innings is meant to unfold, the two openers (Daryl Mitchell and Matt Pardoe) were solid, we went along at two an over but they got over the new ball and got it a little bit softer.

"They laid a really good solid foundation for us for the rest of the innings.

"You add to that the middle order players who could play with a little bit more freedom simply because of the start the other two gave us with Moeen (Ali) and Alexei (Kervezee) who were both superb and the icing on the cake was we could really launch from tea onwards.

"We did that with Gareth Andrew in particular but Ben Cox also played well. To get 400 in a day on that sort of wicket was excellent and testament to the way the guys batted."

Worcestershire have now collected maximum bowling points from their opening three games with Hampshire, Kent and Derbyshire.

Rhodes said: "Saeed was always a really good signing and we knew from the last time we had him what a really good bowler he was, we've all seen it internationally.

"But what was pleasing against Derbyshire on the final day was that we were desperate to keep him out of the attack for quite a while because it meant we were doing well and it also meant we could unleash him onto the middle order and tail.

"The seam bowlers did a great job in that sense and Charlie Morris in particular took a couple of wickets and Gareth Andrew."