Thursday, May 18th, 2023


A total of 22 wickets fell for 322 runs on the opening day of Worcestershire’s LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Leicestershire at New Road. 

Worcestershire claimed maximum bowling points after bowling Leicestershire out for 173 after Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira won the toss.

Joe Leach and Matthew Waite both picked up three wickets, and there were two apiece for Adam Finch and Ben Gibbon.

More quality bowling from Chris Wright and Josh Davey was largely responsible for Worcestershire being dismissed for 83 in just 21.1 overs.

It was a testing day for all batters where the ball constantly swung, and there was some up-and-down bounce as bowlers took advantage of the conditions.

Leicestershire reached 64-2 in their second innings, with a wicket apiece for Leach and Gibbon, before bad light halted play five overs early.

Worcestershire made two changes from their side in action against Glamorgan, with Somerset loanee Jack Brooks and Ben Gibbon replacing Taylor Cornall and the injured Josh Tongue.

Worcestershire Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, opted to bowl first on a green-tinged pitch, and it was leading wicket-taker Joe Leach who made the first breakthrough.

Sol Budinger raced to 30 off 28 balls with six boundaries before he was undone by a delivery by Leach, which nipped away and was pouched at first slip.

Rishi Patel, who has scored three centuries this summer, was fortunate when an attempted pull against Brooks flew over the slips to the third-man boundary.

But the introduction of Adam Finch, fresh from his maiden five-wicket haul at Cardiff last week, brought his downfall. 

Patel went for another pull and, this time, skied a catch to keeper Gareth Roderick running back towards short fine leg.

Leicestershire captain Lewis Hill needed lengthy treatment after being struck on the left arm by a lifting delivery from Finch.

But he became the first of two victims in an over during a probing spell from Matthew Waite.

The former Yorkshire all-rounder obtained plenty of swing, and Hill and Peter Handscomb were both undone in the flight and trapped lbw.

D’Oliveira then produced a stunning catch in mid-air away to his left at backward point to account for Wiaan Mulder after he drove at Leach.

It became four wickets for 14 runs when Rehan Ahmed gave Waite a third success when he was snapped up at first slip.

Tom Scriven then fell into the leg side trap and lofted Finch straight to Waite at deep square leg.

Resistance came from Colin Ackermann and Chris Wright, who added 54 for the eighth wicket.

Ackerman completed a 97 ball half-century before Wright (30) aimed a blow over mid-wicket and was lbw to Leach.

He was denied a fourth wicket when Ackermann, on 51, was dropped at second slip, but Gibbon wrapped up the innings with two wickets in three balls.

Ackermann added only one more run before he dragged on a delivery from Gibbon, who then defeated the defensive push of Will Davis to win an lbw shout.

Waite finished with 9-3-17-3, Leach 14-3-45-3, Finch 13-2-41-2 and Gibbon 6.5-0-34-2, while Brooks bowled 13 overs for 34 runs.

When Worcestershire batted, Azhar Ali was promoted to open alongside Ed Pollock in the continued absence of Jake Libby with a back problem.

The Pakistan star was caught behind in the opening over from Wright to a delivery which nipped away and lifted.

Gareth Roderick moved up to number three and was lbw to Davey 

Pollock was his usual aggressive self in square, driving Wright for four and then flicking Davey off his legs over the square leg boundary.

Jack Haynes and Adam Hose edged successive balls to first slip off Wright before D’Oliveira was caught behind when he pushed forward to Daley.

Pollock had scored 30 of the 45 runs on the board when Ackermann snaffled him at second slip off Wright.

Waite clipped Davey into the hands of mid-wicket, and Wright completed his five-for with Finch lbw.

Mulder came on for Davey after a spell of 7-1-26-3, and Leach founds the hands of cover.

Brooks and Gibbon provided some spirited resistance during a last wicket stand of 33 before the former skied a catch to mid-off.

Patel and Budinger went in for the second time and added 64 before a double breakthrough.

Budinger gave Gibbon the charge and perished at deep mid-wicket and Patel nicked Leach through to Roderick for his 21st wicket of the campaign.