Worcestershire Seconds will be looking to repeat their “excellent performance” in the victory over Derbyshire when they take on Warwickshire in a Second Eleven Championship encounter at Kidderminster beginning today (Monday).
Assistant Coach Richard Jones was delighted with the way the Seconds responded to being bowled out for 150 in difficult batting conditions on the opening day at Repton School to run out convincing winners by lunch on the final day.
He has announced a 13-strong squad for the local derby in which play is scheduled to get underway on each of the four days at 11am.
Jones said: “A tremendous win? It was very pleasing because, like the Lancashire game, I felt we got the tougher end of the conditions.
“We would have bowled first had we won the toss on a pitch that did a bit throughout the whole game really.
“There was certainly life in it for the bowlers if you got the ball in the right area, so that first morning was tricky.
“Rehaan (Edavalath) applied himself nicely, Ben Cox came out and countered well, which set up a bit of momentum for us, and then Adam (Finch) finished with a bit of a flourish.
“I always felt because of the way the pitch played, and the attack that we had, and how well we’ve been bowling as a group, I fancied us to get back into the game, and we did that.
“We bowled beautifully. Finchy set the tone nicely with the nice ball, and when Pat Brown came on for a second spell the first night, it was brilliant.
“He ripped out the middle order, and we took the momentum from that into the second morning as well.
“The way we applied ourselves in the third innings, Kashif impressed again on a pitch that was still doing a lot; he played nice and positive. He rode his luck at times, but the way he chose to bat, which is to his strengths on that pitch, he played beautifully.
“Their fourth innings was a professional job. Pat and Adam set the tone nicely, and we got the job done. It was a brilliant performance.”
Jones was delighted with the approach of the players.
He said: “We spoke about some real clear, consistent messaging and then for them to go out and apply themselves in the field, simple things I like to see, guys chasing the ball to the boundaries in pairs, putting their body on the line in the field.
“All those things we got right for long periods. Ben Cox brought it up about staying calm.
“Four-day cricket is a long time, a lot of variables you can’t control, so we spoke about controlling the things we can do, our mindset, trusting our processes, staying calm, and taking our chances when they came.
“It is more about opportunities and being consistent with the languages that we are using, the messages we are trying to give to the players, but it is always good for players to be winning and playing good cricket.
“It has been a really good couple of weeks.”
Jones added that Kashif Ali has to rest a knock to his thumb for two weeks, but another product of the South Asian Cricket Association is included in the Seconds squad.
Bangladesh pace bowler Arafat Bhuiyan, 26, has previously played for MCC Young Cricketers and Kent Seconds, Derbyshire Seconds and Essex Seconds.
Ben Cox will lead the side with Ollie Sutton, a product of last summer’s open men’s trial at New Road, replacing Adam Finch for days three and four.
BEN COX (C AND W)
HENRY CULLEN (W)
OLLIE SUTTON (DAYS THREE AND FOUR)