Sunday, April 7th, 2024


Kashif Ali produced another magnificent innings for Worcestershire in hitting his second century of the game on day three of the Vitality County Championship derby encounter with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The 26-year-old became only the second Worcestershire player to achieve that feat against the Bears after the legendary Glenn Turner (1972 and 1981) as he followed his first innings knock of 110 by smashing 133 off 128 balls with five sixes and 16 fours.

It was an astonishing display of stroke play and fierce hitting by Kashif which pushed home Worcestershire’s advantage after they had bowled out Warwickshire for 333 to claim maximum bowling points and earn a lead of 27 on first innings.

He was given excellent support by ever reliable opener Jake Libby during a second wicket stand of exactly 200 from 230 balls.

Kashif completed the unusual feat of bringing up his century in both innings with a six and today he hit former Worcestershire team-mate, Ed Barnard, over the mid wicket boundary for a maximum to get to three figures.

The last Worcestershire player to score two centuries in the same game was opener Daryl Mitchell against Lancashire at New Road in 2018 – also in Division One – with 118 and 163

Libby had moved onto 75 and Rob Jones 15 when rain halted proceedings for the day 17 minutes and four overs after tea with Worcestershire on 237-2 – an overall lead of 264.

Worcestershire made superb use of the second new ball on another windswept day after it became available after one over of the morning with the total 293-5 from 80 overs.

Joe Leach made the first breakthrough with the key wicket of Dan Mousley (62) when he lobbed up a catch to Brett D ‘Oliveira at short mid-wicket from a delivery angled in.

Smith shared the new ball from the pavilion end and was soon amongst the wickets.

Michael Burgess (7) went for an off drive and lost his off stump and Michael Booth (1) looked to push on the leg side and was lbw.

Smith could have claimed another scalp when Oliver Hannon-Dalby was dropped at first slip but the innings was soon polished off.

Adam Finch came into the attack and his first ball of the day brought him his third wicket.

He found the edge of Danny Briggs bat on two and Jason Holder at first slip made no mistake.

It secured maximum bowling points and the innings was wrapped up when Chris Rushworth (3) popped a short Holder delivery up in the air and Gareth Roderick ran forward from behind the stumps to take a low catch.

Smith ended with figures of 21-10-49-3, Finch 14-1-56-3, Leach 17-0-59-2 and Holder 16.1-2-63-1.

When Worcestershire batted, Gareth Roderick (4) was caught down the legside off Rushworth with eight on the board.

But then Kashif took centre stage with a stunning display of stroke-play while Libby played the support role to perfection.

The opener continued on from the form of last season when he was the third highest run scorer in Division Two.

A regal cover drive for four off Rushworth by Kashif set the tone for the afternoon session and a straight six off spinner Danny Briggs brought up the 100 in 24 overs.

Kashif needed treatment when on 81 after being on the helmet pulling at a delivery from Michael Booth but he was able to resume and bat in the same destructive manner.

Having gone to his half century off 66 balls, he needed only a further 42 to get to three figures with his maximum off Barnard.

Libby also kept the scoreboard ticking over in effective manner and he cut Briggs for four to reach an 87 ball fifty.

Kashif’s brilliant display ended when he holed out to deep backward square leg off Hannon-Dalby and several Warwickshire players shook hands with him as he headed back to the pavilion.