Friday, March 24th, 2023


Joe Leach and Josh Tongue picked up two wickets apiece before Worcestershire’s two-day friendly with Northamptonshire at the County Ground, Northampton, was abandoned after a lunch-time deluge on the second day.

Leach, who passed 400 first class wickets last summer, took the new ball and delivered a typically fine spell from the pavilion end, which brought him figures of 6-3-7-2.

He was replaced at that end by Tongue, who also enjoyed success during a spell of 5-3-9-2 in his first action since returning from England Lions duty in Sri Lanka.

Fellow pace bowlers Dillon Pennington, Matthew Waite and Ben Gibbon were also able to get some overs under their belt during the two-hour morning session.

There was also the encouraging sight of a return to the crease for spinner Josh Baker who delivered four overs.

But a torrential downpour meant the game had to be called off with Northamptonshire 77-4 from 28 overs in reply to Worcestershire’s first-day total of 185-8 declared.

Leach made the first breakthrough when Hassan Azad (2) missed a delivery which he tried to flick on the leg side and was lbw.

He struck again in his next over when Ricardo Vasconcelos (10) pushed forward and was bowled.

Pennington also settled into a consistent groove during his burst of 5-3-6-0 when sharing the new ball with Leach.

The wickets continued to fall after Tongue’s introduction into the attack.

There was the splendid sight for a pace bowler when Lewis McManus (1) was beaten all ends up by a Tongue delivery, and two stumps went flying out of the ground.

There was more joy for Tongue as Rob Keogh (0) was lbw to leave Northamptonshire on 27-4 before Luke Procter (28 not out) and Saif Zaib (28 not out) saw them through to lunch.

Waite had figures of 5-2-18-0, Baker 4-0-22-0 and Gibbon 3-1-9-0.