Monday, July 21st, 2014

Ton Up Skipper Insists Powers Of Concentration “come Natural”

Ton Up Skipper Insists Powers Of Concentration  “come Natural”

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell insists the amazing powers of concentration he has shown when batting this season "come natural" to him after he scored his fifth century of 2014 against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Mitchell batted throughout the entire day of the LV = County Championship Division Two clash in scoring 102 not out off 228 balls as Worcestershire closed on 299-7 from 96 overs after winning the toss.

It means the 30-year-old has now scored 1,142 runs in the competition and has faced a total of 2,206 deliveries – more than anyone else in either division.

That is the equivalent of batting 367 overs – or facing every delivery during nearly four days play.

Mitchell told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "I've always had these purple patches throughout my career during the individual seasons.

"I've just managed to maintain it this year. I think opening the batting in the T20 has helped that as well.

"It is a case of just keep going, keep trying to get as many as I can and it starts again tomorrow morning.

"I have my game plan and I just try and stick to it. I've probably come out of my shell a couple of times in recent weeks and it has probably cost me my wicket, a couple of big drives here and there.

"I just try and bat and play how I play. Concentration is quite a natural thing for me, I'm pretty good at that, so I don't have to think too much about anything, just try and bat and play the situation as much as anything.

"It was probably not the most fluent innings of the year but a job well done on a decent pitch but it was hard work at times and I thought Gloucestershire bowled pretty well.

"Richard Oliver got us off to a flyer in the morning session, above the rate if you like, but they certainly dragged it back and that last session in particular was pretty hard work scoring runs."

Oliver gave another demonstration of his fluency with a sparkling 62 off 49 balls out of an opening stand of 71 with Mitchell – his third 50 plus score in five innings.

Mitchell said: "It is Richard's natural game and it would be wrong of us to try and stifle that really.

"He gives us a flying start and takes any scoring pressure off me at the other end if he bats for any length of time.

"I'm really pleased with him, he got another score, and hopefully he can kick on and get a hundred in the next couple of games."

Worcestershire lost three quick wickets after lunch before Ben Cox (56) helped Mitchell repair the damage in a fifth wicket stand of 102.

Mitchell said: "It was a little bit disappointing really, a couple of soft ones, particularly to the spinner (Tom Smith).

"I thought it was taking the wrong options really. The pitch has turned a bit on day one so running down the wicket at him was probably not the right way to go and we lost a couple of wickets.

"But Ben Cox came in after that and steadied the ship brilliantly. I thought it was a really good innings, positive like he normally plays, but I thought that was a really good partnership at a crucial time."

In terms of the close of play total, Mitchell said: "I think I'm happy with that. Winning the toss and batting, you would have taken that at the start.

"Hopefully we can kick on in the morning. I'd like another 50 to 100 if we possibly can and then get bowling."