Monday, April 20th, 2015

Ton-Up Richard Delighted To Contribute After “letting Boys Down” Against Tykes

Ton-Up Richard Delighted To Contribute After “letting Boys Down” Against Tykes

Richard Oliver was delighted to score his maiden LV County Championship Division One century at Hove after believing he had "let the boys and myself down a little bit" with his contribution against Yorkshire at New Road last week.

The Worcestershire opener scored 101 in only his second match in the top flight to help earn his side a 44 run first innings lead and four batting points against Sussex.

Oliver enjoyed a productive pre-season in Abu Dhabi and in England after a successful winter skippering Geelong City in Australia but lasted only eight deliveries against the Tykes in scoring 0 and 1.

But he dug in and took advantage of a couple of surviving a couple of chances to reach three figures – his second Championship hundred after his 179 against Gloucestershire at New Road last August.

Oliver told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "I made hard work of it I felt but at least I was in there long enough to raise the bat for three figures which was nice.

"At some stages in the innings, I didn't think I was going to get there. I had a bit of good fortune. It was good to ride off the back of that and get to three figures.

"The most disappointing thing was I didn't carry it on and got out to a pretty loose shot to extra cover.

"But it was pleasing to be able to ride it, see off a few good spells of bowling. They bowled really well, and it was hard to change lanes between holding yourself back and playing your shots. They bowled that well, I couldn't play any shots anyway!

"Full credit to them and it was a bit of a relief to get as many as I did and bat as long as I did because I gave them a few chances."

Oliver made 101 off 212 balls – not slow by any stretch of the imagination but still below his accustomed scoring rate.

He said: "I couldn't believe how many balls I had faced when I came off. It was alright. I suppose it was nice to show I've got a few gears anyway because I think at times I've been guilty at times of only showing one gear which is fast forward.

"It was nice to go through the gears at times, not really through choice, just through the cards I was dealt and it was suck and see for long periods because they bowled really well and it moved all day in the air and off the pitch.

"I probably had the stuffing knocked out of me against Yorkshire because I was feeling really good so to last eight balls in the game, I was gutted.

"Since then I've been a bit scratchy in the nets and was not too confident coming into this game.

"It's the way the game works. If you made runs everytime you felt good and didn't make runs everytime you felt bad, who knows what would happen. It's just a lottery I guess.

"It depends what side of the bed you get up somedays and it is what it is.

"It is nice to be able to contribute to the team because after that Yorkshire game I felt I had let the boys down a little bit, and myself down."

Oliver is hoping lessons have been learnt from the third day against Yorkshire when Worcestersire were bowled out for 100 after two evenly matched opening days.

He said: "Today was a good hard day's cricket and the boys will be feeling pretty happy that we've battled hard to put ourselves in a position where the match is in the balance.

"It was a good pitch at home to Yorkshire and we stuffed that up a little bit on the third day.

"It is nice to be in a position now where we've stamped our mark in this game and we've put ourselves in a position where it's pretty even stevens.

"If we can learn from the mistakes we made against Yorkshire…they say the third day is moving day and hopefully we are still moving by the fourth day and in a good position."

Oliver was fifth out at 227 but 93 from Alexei Kervezee, 70 from Gareth Andrew and 32 from Sachithra Senanayake helped Worcestershire into a first innings lead.

He said: "It was really important to get past the Sussex total. Any lead. There was one stage when we lost a few wickets in the middle session when it could have gone south quite quickly.

"For us to hang in there and battle so hard all day was fantastic and it just goes to show the quality we've got throughout the side.

"It's alright saying that, that we've got the quality, but we've got to produce, and the boys produced.

"Gaz Andrew has produced two games on the the trot now and it's been really impressive, it's been great."