Monday, May 18th, 2015

Sharp Praise For Second Eleven Fightback In Opening Championship Game

Sharp Praise For Second Eleven Fightback In Opening Championship Game

Worcestershire Second Eleven coach Kevin Sharp praised the way his side fought back in the opening Championship match of the season against Northamptonshire at Milton Keynes.

Worcestershire were bowled out for 142 on the opening day and Northamptonshire were in a strong position after reaching 157-3 by the close.

But the county bowlers stuck to their task to dismiss them for 287, with Chris Russell picking up six wickets, and then George Rhodes and Joe Clarke hit unbeaten half centuries out of 176-2 before rain washed out the final day.

Sharp, who is also the county's batting coach, said: "We batted on the first day and it was quite a quick bouncy pitch actually and we were challenged. They had quite an experienced bowling attack and we were massively challenged.

"We probably weren't quite at our best on the whole and got bowled out for 142. They then played pretty well (Ben Duckett and David Murphy) and we were pretty much under the pump by the end of the first day.

"Pretty much the situation was, if we didn't have a good session in the first session of the second day, we would have been out of the game.

"The boys responded, they really responded, they bowled really well, young Josh Tongue bowled well, Chris Russell bowled well and backed up by the others and we got back in the game.

"We finished 176-2 and there was some excellent batting from Tom Kohler-Cadmore, George Rhodes and Joe Clarke.

"By the end, we were nearly 40 in front with eight wickets left and it is such a shame it actually rained because it would have been interesting to see how that game developed."

Wicket-keeper batsman Clarke looked in good form after a challenging start to the campaign with the bat.

Sharp said: "It is his first full year and there are quite a few demands on him as well. He's been opening the batting in the longer form of the game.

"He actually went in number four in the second innings and made 50 odd but opening the batting and keeping wicket is quite demanding and he has been just short of his form.

"But he is very young, is enormously talented and is another one of our players who has got a very bright future."