Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Steve Rhodes Verdict On Draw With Gloucs

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has given his verdict on the drawn game with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

The County were set a steep target of 370 in 51 overs – a run rate of 7.25 per over – and an unbeaten 93 from Joe Clarke earned them a share of the spoils at 155-5 after they had been 5-3 at one stage.

The 11 points collected moved Worcestershire 13 clear of third placed Kent with five games to play after the block of NatWest T20 Blast matches this month.

Rhodes said: "We were extremely disappointed there wasn't going to be any situation where we could fix up some sort of reasonable game for the crowd that turned up as well as the two groups of players.

"It seemed that Gloucestershire wanted to try and have it every way because they wanted to get as many as runs as they could, quickly in the end after a slow start, and then try and bowl us out in a short space of time.

"Hopefully, maybe Gloucestershire may be rueing the fact that if they had another hour, they may well have won the game and that might be something they consider next time.

"If that had been a 70 over game, we would have had a real problem hanging on for a draw.

"But having said all that, there was some good cricket played throughout the game. I thought Ben Cox's hundred for us was excellent.

"I thought Joe Clarke's knock today……some knocks are in a winning cause, some knocks are in a drawing cause and today he managed to see us to safety although we were only five down and with Ross (Whiteley) in there.

"I thought it was a really special innings again from Joe Clarke. He copped a lot again from the Glucestershire fielders when he went out to bat because he probably dished a little bit out when he was fielding.

"You've got to be able to take it and he did it in the right way by scoring runs against them.

"Was there any talk of collusion to make a game out of it? Well, we tried this morning and they didn't want to have anything to do with it.

"They wanted to dictate it their way and maybe, like I say, they might rue that fact because with a little bit more time, they might have bowled us out.

"Certainly as a fielding group, the one thing you wanted to have here was overs to bowl people out.

"They never came to us with any sort of figures. You know what, we would have certainly gone into that negotiation accepting we were going to lose that negotiation and probably go for whatever was set.

"Would we have gone 370 in 51 overs? We would haven't done. We thought Gloucestershire would want more overs at us. We were prepared to lose the negotiation but seven an over is a ridiculous situation really because it put the game totally out of our reach.

"They just had us for a little bit of target practice, they wanted it every way, and sometimes you've got to be prepared to lose to win. It seemed as though that was not what they wanted to do."

On the bowlers performance in Gloucestershire's second innings, Rhodes said: "John (Hastings) bowled a better spell again today and yesterday and Josh Tongue bowled some good spells as well.

"Ed Barnard was fantastic throughout the game, nice to see him come back to form, and on the Gloucestershire side, Jack Taylor is really hard for us to bowl at.

"He hasn't got the prettiest technique in the world but he is a really useful player and scores runs against us regularly and is a real nuisance to play against.

"We should commend his hundred because it was vitally important for Gloucestershire as well."