Thursday, May 12th, 2022



Jack Haynes scored his second successive century as he and Azhar Ali again dominated proceedings with the bat for Worcestershire CCC on day one of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.


Haynes followed up his unbeaten 120 versus Durham at New Road with a new career best score of 133.


He and Azhar, who made another significant contribution with a fighting 88, put on 187 in 56 overs for the third wicket.


On Sunday, the duo had battled their way through the majority of the final day to earn a deserved draw against Durham with a third wicket partnership of 195.


Today presented the pair with different circumstances to negotiate, in trying to establish a base for a sizeable first innings total.


But they again showed they were up for the challenge presented to them after the loss of two early wickets.


Pakistan star Azhar also showed his quality for the second time in four days after his 92 on Sunday as Worcestershire secured three batting points and reached 326-5 off 96 overs by the close.


Worcestershire were put into bat and made one change from the side in action against Durham with Charlie Morris, available again after a stomach bug, coming in for Joe Leach.


Suranga Lakmal bowled a testing spell with the new ball and Ed Pollock (7) was caught behind slanted across him which nipped away.


Jake Libby (17) was then lbw to a delivery from Ryan Sidebottom which nipped back with 41 on the board.


Haynes and Azhar had to be initially watchful on a green pitch.


But Haynes soon produced a series of handsome drives and three in the space of two overs against Sam Conners yielded boundaries.


It was a rare misjudgement from Haynes which saw him complete his half century when a top edge against Lakmal flew over the keeper’s head for four.


Azhar was rewarded for his fighting qualities when he opened up during the afternoon session with a mixture of shots off his legs and cover drives.


He completed his half century from 117 balls with his eighth four.


The duo batted through the entire afternoon session without being parted, scoring 120 runs off 32 overs during that period.


They were finally parted when Azhar looked to steer spinner Alex Thomson into the third man region and fell to a smart catch by Wayne Madsen at slip.


Haynes’ highest score before Sunday had been his 97 against Derbyshire at New Road last summer when he caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary.


But he made no mistake this time against the same opposition shortly afterwards when pulling Sidebottom for his 12th four to reach another hundred in another chanceless knock.


It was the fourth delivery with the second new ball which led to his downfall, a good delivery from Conners which he nicked to first slip at 287-4.


Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira looked in good nick and played a series of fine strokes including a superb straight drive for four off Lakmal.


But on 35 he fell to an excellent catch at point off Sidebottom to leave Ed Barnard (18 not out) and nightwatchman, Adam Finch (five not out), to steer the innings through to the close.