Saturday, April 6th, 2024


Worcestershire secured three batting bonus points and then fought hard with the ball to pick up five wickets on day two of the Vitality County Championship derby with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Overseas signing, Jason Holder, held the latter part of the Worcestershire innings together with a responsible 29 as they advanced from the overnight 316-7 to 360 all out in 107.1 overs.

Adam Finch then made a double breakthrough with the ball and there was also a first Worcestershire wicket for Nathan Smith, and another to Joe Leach, plus a run-out, as Warwickshire closed on 292-5 from 79 overs.

With the second new ball due after one over in the morning, Worcestershire will be looking to make further inroads after battling away despite the challenges of a ferocious wind throughout the day.

When Worcestershire resumed this morning, Smith (4) was caught at short mid wicket after clipping a delivery from Chris Rushworth into the hands of Dan Mousley.

Leach (11) was undone by a lifting delivery from Rushworth which flew to Rob Yates who held onto a head high catch at second slip.

Worcestershire were then 339-9 but Holder went on the offensive against Rushworth to secure another batting bonus point.

He produced an array of shots in an over costing 14 runs and three boundaries.

Holder flicked a short ball over the keeper for four, produced a superb cover drive to the ropes to bring up the 350 and then pulled the same bowler for another boundary.

The West Indies star moved onto 29 before he sliced a delivery from Michael Booth and was caught low down by Danny Briggs at deep backward square.

Leach and Smith, the leading wicket-taker in this winter’s Plunket Shield in New Zealand, shared the new ball.

Rob Yates edged Smith to the third man boundary and Alex Davies survived an lbw shout from Leach when trying to flick the ball on the leg side.

Brett D’Oliveira brought Holder and Matthew Waite into the attack in a double change as Worcestershire looked for early breakthroughs before the Kookaburra ball became softer and less effective.

Warwickshire reached 35-0 by lunch but Leach made an instant breakthrough when he returned to the attack for the start of the afternoon session.

Yates (26) went for a drive and was bowled via an inside edge as he lost his middle stump.

Leach wheeled away in triumph after securing the first wicket of his testimonial year and 451st of his first class career.

Will Rhodes and Davies added 65 for the second wicket before Finch brought about another breakthrough.

Davies (36) went for a pull shot but only succeeded in lobbing up a comfortable catch for Rob Jones.

Rhodes completed a 72-ball half century with 10 boundaries and the 150 came up in the 40th over.

But he was fortunate on 52 to survive a chance to first slip off the recalled Finch after attempting a cut.

Spin was introduced by Worcestershire for the first time for the 42nd over with Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira bringing himself into the attack.

He almost made an immediate breakthrough as Ed Barnard’s cut just eluded the hands of Adam Hose at slip.

But there was joy soon afterwards for Smith with his first wicket for Worcestershire.

Rhodes on 64 attempted to upper cut a delivery but only succeeded in finding the hands of Holder at a widish slip position with the total 179-3.

Worcestershire continued to plug away during the final session despite the challenges of the wind and were rewarded with two more breakthroughs.

Finch struck when Barnard on 89 worked the ball on the leg side and was lbw at 248-4.

Then in the closing minutes of the day Jacob Bethell swept Jake Libby down to fine leg and was run out by Smith’s superb pick up and throw to Gareth Roderick attempting a second run.