Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Skipper Wants To “keep Going” And Put Hants Under Pressure Via Sizeable Lead

Skipper Wants To “keep Going” And Put Hants Under Pressure Via Sizeable Lead

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell is determined to try and "keep going" and further extend his first major innings of the summer in the LV = County Championship when play eventually resumes against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

But overnight rain meant a frustrating wait for Mitchell and his team-mates on the third day before play finally got underway at 4pm.

Mitchell yesterday hit an unbeaten 80 – his first alf of 2015 in the competition – and shared in three half century partnerships with Richard Oliver, Tom Fell and Alex Gidman as Worcestershire closed just one run behind on 221-3 in their first innings.

The 31-year-old was back to his best in being the bedrock of the Worcestershire innings – a role he occupied so many times when scoring 1,334 Championship runs last summer.

But Mitchell wants to turn his innings into a sizeable three figure score and help his side establish a major first innings advantage.

Mitchell told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Ian Randall: "It is not big enough yet and hopefully I can get past my hundred tomorrow and keep going.

"We want to score as many as we can in that first innings. A few more partnerships down the order and we can forge a big lead.

"Is the aim to bat once? I guess so. We might have to chase something at the end of the game but if we can bat and get as many runs as we can in the first innings, it puts them under a lot of pressure.

"There is a little bit of uneven bounce. It is a strange wicket really. For 80-90 per cent of the time, it is a pretty good wicket to bat on and then all of a sudden, one will keep low or one will bounce on you.

"It is a good cricket wicket. There is a bit in it for everyone, if you bowl well like we did, you can take wickets on it.

"They probably won't be happy with the way they bowled. Scoring probably came a bit too easy at times and they will be disappointed.

"But we had to make that pay and we did well to capitalise on it."

Mitchell praised his quartet of seam bowlers and in particular Championship debutant Ed Barnard.

He said: "We bowled very well on the first day and got our rewards at the end of the day, picking up those four wickets..

"The guys did well again on the second day, hitting the right areas and, although Hampshire scored a bit more freely today, we kept picking up wickets.

"I thought to bowl them out for 220 odd was a pretty good and then obviously a nice solid start with the bat by myself and Richard (Oliver) and three good partnerships to take us to where we are at.

"The bowling unit, I thought as a group of four they were excellent. I thought Ed Barnard, in his first game, to come in and bowl like he did was excellent.

"He bowled with amazing control for a 19-year-old and that was a great effort.

"On debut there would have been a few nerves as well and it is never easy but I thought he bowled with a lot of skill and a lot of precision.

"Jack Shantry does what Jack Shantry, hits the top of off stump and bowls well, and Leachy (Joe Leach) picked up the rewards with five wickets.

"Since he has come into the team he has been a breath of fresh air since Gaz Andrew's injury and keeps doing a great job for us."