Monday, April 15th, 2024

Richardson delighted with team performance in rain-hit clash

Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson was full of praise for a “really good team performance” after the Vitality County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge ended in a draw after a last day wash-out.

Play was called off in mid afternoon with Worcestershire collecting another 13 points to add to the 14 secured against Warwickshire and they lie in third spot in the table.

It was another encouraging display in which Worcestershire more than held their own after their promotion from Division Two last summer.

Richardson said: “Frustrated? We have to be. Both sides will be because I think potentially there was a very good day’s cricket to be had.

“Ultimately frustrating but something (the weather) that can’t be controlled by everyone.

“I think it was a really good team performance first and foremost. There were obviously some outstanding moments from individuals which helped us along the way.

“But the way the boys stuck together in the face of some real challenges along the way was very good.

“It was a reasonably big toss to lose, I think, and so to be put in the field and stick at it as well as they did was good to see.

“I thought Nottinghamshire batted really well and Joe Clarke’s innings was excellent and one of real maturity.

“But we stuck together well there, took the last four wickets quite quickly, which was key.

“Batting wise, there will be guys disappointed they didn’t go on and get big scores but, as a team, we put together four or five really good partnerships.”

Richardson added: “For me, there were some outstanding individual performances. It would be remiss not to talk about Nathan Smith’s bowling yesterday but that was backed up brilliantly by Adam Finch and Josh Baker who bowled exceptionally well too.

“It was a really strong team performance again and the boys should be really proud of how they stood up. We were put under some pressure in our first innings and to finish on the second day at 220-6, we knew we were behind the game.

“It was important for us again to build partnerships and the boys did really well with that with real skill and spirit.

“Nathan and Brett D’Oliveira’s partnership was really good and they played at a good tempo as well and then Joe Leach came in at number ten, possibly a little bit low for him, but I thought he played brilliantly well.

“It was a real challenge. Dillon (Pennington) bowled some short stuff and there was some real good spin on a turning wicket, so they faced some real good challenges throughout and we handled them really well.”

Richardson was delighted with Rob Jones knock of 90.

He said: “Rob was extremely disappointed he didn’t get his hundred but I thought he played brilliantly well.

“We lost a couple of early wickets, which can happen, but the intent that he showed, the way he played, the way he ran between the wickets, the way he played spin, using his feet brilliantly well, by going deep but also advancing down the wicket, was excellent.

“He deserved a hundred. It was a shame he didn’t get it but I’m sure there will be many more to come and it was really nice to watch him.

“Rob has become a hugely popular member of the changing room already so to watch him play, and with real skill, was pleasing for everyone.”

Gareth Roderick produced a memorable catch in the second innings to dismiss Clarke for a duck and Richardson was pleased with the way he helped spur on the side from behind the stumps.

He said: “With Gareth he has got a real challenge ahead. He is going to open the batting and keep wicket.

“We were in the field in the first innings for about 130 overs so for him to go out and bat and then back it up again as keeper… was some testing conditions, the ball spun, certainly when Josh was bowling it into the foothold for the left handers, that was a real challenge.

“But the catch he took to get rid of Joe Clarke was a huge moment for us. He played so well in the first innings and to get him second innings so cheaply with a fantastic catch was a massive boost.

“Rodders drove the team really well. It’s really important the keeper drives that tempo that we field at and the energy that we showed and Gareth does that extremely well.”