Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Rhodes Says Both Teams “deserve A Lot Of Credit” After Hard Fought Draw

Rhodes Says Both Teams “deserve A Lot Of Credit” After Hard Fought Draw

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes Worcestershire and Sussex "deserve a lot of credit" after contesting a hard fought draw on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.

Rhodes felt the game was "a great advert for four-day cricket" as Worcestershire collected 13 points.

The Worcestershire bowlers could not be faulted for effort in their attempt to force victory after Sussex had resumed on 137-3 in their second innings – needing 76 still to avoid an innings defeat.

Matt Henry bowled superbly and his final figures of 4-22 from 31 overs did not do justice to his sterling performance which was backed up by the remainder of the attack.

But Sussex proved a tough nut to crack and half centuries from Ross Taylor, Matt Machan and Harry Finch steered them to safety at 411-9 when the two teams shook hands.

Rhodes said: "Both teams deserve a lot of credit there, Worcestershire for bossing the game. We got a big score on the board and made them follow on.

"But also you have to take your hat off to the opposition. They dug deep, they made life difficult for us.

"We really tried as hard as we could with the ball. I couldn't fault the efforts of the bowlers or the fielders but it wasn't to be.

"We went through quite a lot of overs and there are a few tired and sore bodies in the dressing room.

"But, as I mentioned to them, if we keep working as hard and trying as hard as we have in this game, then we will definitely get some reward down the line."

Henry produced an excellent sustained performance throughout the day.

Rhodes said: "He tried his heart out like all the bowlers did. It's unfair to pinpoint him out of the seam bowlers and the spinners.

"But Matt has tried wholeheartedly to get a stack of wickets for us and he has put in some sterling work.

"Today his figures could have finished better but the way he is bowling now, there is a big haul (of wickets) around the corner.

"All you can ask for is effort and sadly for us, Sussex fought back well but it is brilliant to see our lads trying as hard as they do.

"I'm very proud of them. We tried to the very end there."

Rhodes admitted the County would even have contemplated a Twenty20 style run chase had they been able to polish off the Sussex innings.

He said: "Taylor and Machan both got fifties and, by the time they got those fifties, it meant they were a little bit safer.

"But even towards the end when everyone was looking at the scoreboard trying to do their sums, it looked like being a 20 over match for us.

"We would have rejigged our order and we could have had a bit of fun at the end but it wasn't to be.

"To me, it was a great advert for four-day cricket and really fiercely contested. It was tough cricket and it went all the way to the end there."

Rhodes gave credit to head groundsman Tim Packwood for the quality of the wicket.

He said: "Day two we had more uneven bounce than on day four which is strange. Preparing wickets and how they react often is strange.

"The wicket seemed to get a little better today. It didn't really go as low as we thought it would do.

"We expected quite a few lbw and the ball shooting along the ground but it wasn't to be.

"Maybe there are a few things we can think about with the wicket in preparation but Tim once again has done a fine job and produced a terrific four-day pitch."