Sunday, April 16th, 2023


Worcestershire went down by 121 runs despite a valiant effort by the last wicket pair of Adam Finch and Dillon Pennington in the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside. 

Finch and Pennington came together with 19 overs remaining, with Worcestershire 166-9 in pursuit of a target of 314 in a minimum of 70 overs by Durham captain Scott Borthwick. 

The duo bravely defied the Durham attack for 14 overs before Pennington, having held out for 47 deliveries, became the fifth victim of Australian spinner Matthew Kuhnemann. 

It left Finch undefeated on 18 from 53 deliveries in another admirable effort. 

Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira, Jack Haynes and Azhar Ali all made decent contributions with the bat for Worcestershire. Still, no one managed to produce the major innings needed to chase such a sizeable total. 

Worcestershire, who defeated Derbyshire in their opening game, picked up two bowling and three batting points. 

Haynes had achieved a career-best 134 not out in Worcestershire’s first innings of 366-5, in which they declared 59 runs behind to open up the game. 

Left-armer Ben Gibbon also recorded his best-ever match analysis of 37-5-147-6, surpassing his 4-61 in the win over Nottinghamshire at New Road last September. 

Durham resumed day four on 96-2 – an overall lead of 155 – and they extended their second innings score to 254-4 from 42 overs before declaring. 

Borthwick completed a 112-ball century and added 196 for the third wicket with David Bedingham. 

Adam Finch ended the partnership when Bedingham (86) went for a pull and was caught by Jack Haynes at long leg. 

New batter Ollie Robinson was dropped at long-off on one off the bowling of Finch. 

But he was dismissed on 13 to give Gibbon his sixth wicket of the game, with Jake Libby holding onto the chance at deep mid-wicket. 

Borthwick immediately declared with himself unbeaten on 108 from 119 balls with 11 fours. 

Gibbon finished with 2-55, with Joe Leach (1-40) and Finch (1-35) were the other wicket-takers. 

Worcestershire were left with three overs batting before lunch, and Libby (0) edged a delivery from Matthew Potts and was caught at the second attempt by Michael Jones at first slip. 

When play resumed, Ed Pollock (2) was looking to drive Paul Coughlin, but the ball lobbed up to Ben Raine, who took a fine catch at mid-on. 

Azhar Ali and Haynes batted with positive intent. 

Azhar collected successive boundaries off Coughlin with a clip off his legs and a handsome back foot cover drive. 

Haynes cut Potts for four, and a cover-drive to the ropes off Coughlin completed a half-century partnership in 14.5 overs. 

He completed 2,000 first class runs in only his 35th match when reaching 29. 

The stand was worth 73 and Worcestershire were progressing in a positive fashion when the introduction of Kuhnemann brought about three quick wickets. 

Azhar had made 33 off 64 balls with five boundaries when he went for a big hit against Kuhnemann and was caught at deep mid-wicket. 

D’Oliveira spectacularly got off the mark by sweeping Kuhnemann for six. 

But Haynes was dismissed after making an accomplished 40 when he went to sweep Kuhnemann, and Raine took a good catch at deep backward square. 

The slow left armer then accounted for Worcestershire keeper-batter Gareth Roderick (2), who pushed forward and was bowled. 

Tea was taken with Worcestershire 101-5 from 31 overs, with D’Oliveira unbeaten on 11 and Matthew Waite four. 

Waite, having made 21 off 34 balls, was adjudged lbw on the back foot to Coughlin and Leach (0) pushed forward to Kuhnemann and was bowled. 

D’Oliveira moved into the 30s with cover drives and pulls for four off Coughlin. 

He had made 42 off 75 balls when he nicked a delivery of extra bounce from Potts through to keeper Robinson. 

Gibbon (0) fell in the same manner to Potts next delivery but then came the defiance from Finch and Pennington until the latter, with nine fielders crowded around the bat, was bowled by a quicker delivery from Kuhnemann.