Friday, September 8th, 2017

Rhodes Says Promotion-Chasing Worcs Aiming To Keep Fate In Own Hands

Steve Rhodes says Worcestershire want to keep their fate in their own hands as the battle for promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship reaches its climax.

Second placed Worcestershire are 36 points clear of Northamptonshire and Sussex – who both have one game in hand – after today’s splendid victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

It is a strong position to be in but Director Of Cricket Rhodes knows there is plenty of work to still be done to secure a fifth promotion under his command.

He told BBC Hereford-Worcester’s Dave Bradley: “We don’t really want to be relying on games going our way and other matches.

“We will enjoy this victory but then we’ve got to knuckle down and make sure we finish the season well.

“There are eight days to go and we plan on doing our best and finishing as high as possible because we are desperate to get promoted.

“We play the whole Championship season to get promoted and that’s what we are after.”

Rhodes was full of praise for the way his side smashed Nottinghamshire’s unbeaten record in the Championship with an eight wicket success before lunch.

The former England wicket-keeper said: “You feel amazing satisfaction and are so pleased for everyone. I’m proud of them.

“To come to Trent Bridge, a place where no-one has been successful, and I think they’ve been unbeaten all season in the Championship, and play so well, with a lot of home grown talent, it is a tremendous win.

“Lots of people have contributed small and bigger parts. Daryl (Mitchell) certainly, his hundred in the second innings under pressure, was a fantastic effort so really proud of them.

“To beat a side with seven internationals in it was a really proud moment.

“There was still a lot of work to do today but there were a couple of crucial little partnerships yesterday with the new ball, Daryl and George (Rhodes), and Daryl and Felly (Tom Fell).

“We had put the foundations in place and it was pleasing that the plan for today was to try and get a start again and try and maximise that short boundary and get it over and done with and that’s exactly what the lads did.”

Mitchell scored an unbeaten 139 – his sixth century of the season.

Rhodes said: “He’s got the bulk of that chase, 139 out of 226. It was a great effort from him but it wasn’t just dogged. He played some lovely shots.

“I looked at his ‘wagon wheel’ and he was hitting a lot through the off side. You’d say maybe Mitch pulls and clips but he hit a lot this match through the off side and that means he is in a good place with his batting.”