Monday, April 8th, 2024


Worcestershire’s hopes of pushing for victory were frustrated by the weather on the final day of the drawn Vitality County Championship derby with Warwickshire at Edgbaston but there was sufficient time for Jake Libby to complete a fine century.

Play did not get underway until 1.25pm with heat lamps needed to dry the bowlers run-ups after ferocious winds meant the protective sheets could not be used overnight.

It meant a total of 56 overs were lost after the players had left the field because of rain just four overs into the post tea session on the third day.

At that stage Worcestershire were completely in the ascendancy at 237-2 and with enough time and overs remaining to be able to set the Bears daunting target and also have the opportunity to try and bowl them out.

The sizeable chunk of play lost meant it was not tangible to set a challenging total and also have a realistic amount of time in which to dismiss the home side.

But Libby was able to move from 75 overnight to his 12th first class century for Worcestershire in his 47th  match for the County.

He carried on from the form of last season when he achieved a career best 1153 runs at an average of 57.65.

Worcestershire can take enormous positives from their overall performance in their first game back in Division One after promotion against a side who finished in the top four last season.

They finished with a total of 14 points, eight for the draw, three for batting and three for bowling.

Kashif Ali was the star performer with the bat after his superb centuries in both innings.

Libby, fellow opener Gareth Roderick, and all-rounders Matthew Waite and Jason Holder also made important contributions.

Overseas signing, Nathan Smith, showed his experience and quality with the Kookaburra ball and there was a promising return to first team action for Adam Finch and Joe Leach after injury setbacks before and during the winter.

Such a performance can only further boost confidence and belief  amongst the squad after last season’s promotion campaign for the challenges ahead, including the next fixture against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge starting on Friday.

When Worcestershire resumed, Jones (18) fell to a sharp reflex catch by Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

Libby cut Danny Briggs and Chris Rushworth for boundaries to move into the 90s.

He then emulated Kashif by reaching his century with a six when he lofted spinner Danny Briggs straight back down the ground.

It came from 177 balls and also contained nine fours.

Adam Hose (17 not out) was able to spend some valuable time in the middle and accompanied Libby in a half century stand in 89 balls.

But the rain returned with the total 295-3 and led to the game being abandoned with Libby 101 not out.