Monday, April 4th, 2022


Worcestershire completed their pre-season programme on a winning note as they defeated Durham UCCE by 141 runs on the final afternoon at Chester Road, Kidderminster.

New Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, declared on the overnight score of 225-6 and set Durham UCCE a 367 target.

Joe Leach finished with three wickets, and there were two apiece for Ed Barnard, D’Oliveira and Josh Baker as Durham were dismissed for 225 in 62 overs.

The Worcestershire players have put in 14 days of valuable match practice across five games with only minimal interruptions by the weather.

Batsman and bowlers alike have spent plenty of time in the middle ahead of Thursday’s opening LV=Insurance County Championship match with Leicestershire at the Uptonsteel County Ground.

Jake Libby, Ed Pollock, Gareth Roderick, Jack Haynes, D’Oliveira and Ed Barnard of the top six batters have all scored at least one half-century.
The new ball attack of Joe Leach and Dillon Pennington has also looked in fine fettle during the past two weeks.

This morning, Leach took the new ball and made a double breakthrough inside his first three overs.

Travis Norris (12) fenced at a ball outside the off-stump and edged through to keeper Ben Cox.

The same combination then accounted for Josh Lawrenson (0) after he nibbled at a delivery that moved away from Leach.

Joe Cracknell adopted an aggressive approach, mistiming a hook against Leach for six over fine leg and then pulling Barnard over the mid-wicket boundary.

Cracknell made 37 from 27 deliveries, but the entry into the attack of Pennington brought about his downfall, and he was lbw to a full-length delivery.

Opener Andrew Whaits battled through for an unbeaten 38 out of 98-3 off 28 overs at lunch.

After the interval, Leach came back into the attack and struck again when Simon Fernandes (25) toe ended an attempted pull. An alert Leach held onto a return catch away to his right.

Whaits completed a 112-ball half-century before Pollock produced a superb catch at slip to dismiss Nikhil Gorantla (0) off Baker.

He pushed forward to the spinner, and the ball flew away sharply on the offside, but Pollock reacted like lightning to cling onto the ball one-handed at full stretch.

A ball of extra bounce from Barnard ended Whaits fine knock on 59 with Pollock taking a much more straightforward catch at first slip.

The all-rounder picked up another wicket as Michael Booth (5) gave Cox his third catch of the innings.

D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack and claimed two wickets in two balls at the start of his second over.

Ross Richardson (51) went for a sweep, and Barnard at slip anticipated the shot and moved around to take the catch at leg slip.

D’Oliveira then defeated the tentative push forward of AWG Jones (0), and he was plumb lbw.

Baker ended the game when Sebastian Allison top-edged a skier onto the off side, which Roderick pouched.