Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Three Weeks To Championship Opener As County Gain Valuable Match Practice

Worcestershire CCC returned to action in this country for the first time since lifting the Specsavers County Championship Division Two title and gained some valuable match practice during a one-day red ball match with Somerset at Taunton today.

Skipper Joe Leach employed seven bowlers in Somerset’s innings which was brought to a halt after they had scored 234-4 in 51 overs.

Leach himself picked up two wickets and there was one apiece for Josh Tongue and Ben Twohig after the home side were put into bat in a fixture reduced from two days because of the recent adverse weather conditions in the South West.

Then Tom Fell, Ben Cox and Ed Barnard spent some time in the middle as Worcestershire closed on 177-5 from 42 overs.

The conditions were in stark contrast to those experienced during the 11-day training camp in Abu Dhabi.

But they will help in re-acclimatising to English conditions before the opening Division One clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in three weeks time.

Next up for the County is a 50 over contest against Gloucestershire at Bristol on Tuesday.

Leach made the first breakthrough in trapping Marcus Trescothick (5) lbw and then he bowled George Bartlett (10).

Ed Byrom (26) lost his leg bail trying to leg glance Tongue and James Hildreth (93 off 98 balls) was leg before to Twohig, leaving Somerset skipper Tom Abell unbeaten on 71.

The Worcestershire bowling figures were: Magoffin 8-1-32-0, Leach 8-3-27-2, Tongue 8-0-42-1, Barnard 8-3-19-0, Morris 6-0-18-0, Shantry 6-1-45-0 and Twohig 7-1-35-1.

When Worcestershire batted, Daryl Mitchell (14) was bowled after shouldering arms to Tim Groenwald.

Fellow opener George Rhodes (16) and Fell (34) added 46 before being caught at third slip and second slip respectively.

Ollie Westbury (1|) nicked through to former Worcestershire keeper Steve Davies before Cox and Barnard, who joined forces at 70-4, added 87 in 18 overs.

Cox struck 11 fours in his 46 from 57 balls before he was caught at mid wicket.

Barnard was left undefeated on 47 from 57 deliveries with one six and six fours and Leach on 15 not out when the game came to an end in gloomy light.