Monday, August 30th, 2021


Worcestershire CCC Club Captain Joe Leach produced his best figures of the season in LV=Insurance County Championship cricket on day one of the match with Sussex at New Road.

Leach was rewarded for some excellent bowling throughout the day in a series of probing spells where he regularly beat the bat and ended with 4-67 from 21 overs.

Sussex were reduced to 97-6 at one stage in the overcast conditions, with Adam Finch, Dillon Pennington and Ed Barnard also chipping away at their young line-up with wickets at regular intervals.

But a career-best 81 not out from Jack Carson enabled Sussex to partially recover to 254-9 from 79.4 overs before bad light halted play for the day.

Worcestershire welcomed back Dillon Pennington and Ben Cox after their spells with Birmingham Phoenix and Trent Rockets in The Hundred.

Sussex opted to bat on an overcast morning and fielded a side with six teenagers and no capped players and an average age of nineteen and a half.

Leach took the new ball in tandem with Pennington, and there was plenty of playing and missing from Sussex openers Ali Orr and Tom Haines in the early stages.

Leach eventually obtained a tangible reward for his efforts when Sussex captain Tom Haines (20) pushed forward to a delivery and was lbw.

Ali Orr, a century-maker in the Royal London Cup game at New Road earlier this month, again looked in good touch but survived a confident leg-before shout against Barnard when on 18.

Finch came into the attack and struck when Harrison Ward (1) nibbled at a ball slanted across him and was caught by Jack Haynes at third slip.

Pennington came back into the attack, and James Coles (12) had his middle stump knocked back after driving at the former England Under-19 paceman.

Sussex reached 71-3 by lunch, but Leach struck twice in two balls shortly after the resumption in another fine spell.

Ollie Carter (0) shouldered arms and was bowled by the final ball of one over and then the first delivery of the next over from Leach saw on loan Fynn Hudson-Prentice (0) perish to a superb catch by Cox.

The wicket-keeper batsman reacted sharply to hold onto the nick in a one-handed catch low to his right.

Orr brought up his half-century off 117 balls with ten fours. He had a slice of luck on 51 when mistiming a pull against Leach just wide of mid-wicket.

But he added only one more run before his back foot slipped against a delivery from Finch, and he was out hit wicket.

Ed Barnard replaced Leach, and he accounted for Archie Lenham (20), who went for a pull but only edged through to Cox, who pulled off another fine legside catch

Jack Carson (2) had an escape when he was caught behind off a Barnard no-ball, and then Dan Ibrahim (35) had a let-off behind the stumps against Pennington.

Leach returned after tea to have Ibrahim (48) lbw, but Carson’s big hitting lifted the total past the 200 mark.

He put on 66 with Henry Crocombe (9), who was leg before to Brett D’Oliveira shortly before the premature close.