Thursday, May 5th, 2022


Ben Gibbon celebrated his maiden first-class wicket for Worcestershire on the opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at New Road.

The left-arm pace bowler’s moment of glory came when he dismissed Durham number three Keegan Petersen.

He was brought into the side after impressing in pre-season and for the Seconds and can be happy with his efforts and figures of 17-4-50-1 on a day he will remember.

It was hard work for the bowlers after Durham skipper Scott Borthwick had won the toss and elected to bowl with Sean Dickson hitting a century.

But two wickets for Ed Barnard helped secure a first bowling point for Worcestershire, who have enjoyed better days with the ball as Durham closed on 339-3 from 96 overs.

Worcestershire welcomed back all-rounder Joe Leach after recovering from a stomach bug, and he and Gibbon replaced Dillon Pennington (sore hamstring) and Charlie Morris (illness).

Durham opted to bat first on a wicket which had the same moisture content and length of grass as for the victory over Sussex but started in different overhead conditions.

Gibbon was quickly into the attack in sharing the new ball with Leach.

Opener Alex Lees did not look entirely at ease, edging Leach for four and then seeing an uppish cut fly wide of the slip cordon.

Dickson also played and missed at a fine delivery from Gibbon, but the Durham first wicket pair managed to survive the new ball.

It was Barnard who made the first breakthrough when he came into the attack for Gibbon.

Lees could only inside edge a delivery from the England Lions player onto his stumps after making 27 with 55 on the board.

Dickson looked in good touch and produced a series of fine cover drives as Durham reached 100-1 by lunch.

His second-wicket stand with Keegan Petersen blossomed in the afternoon and was worth 123 in 37 overs when Gibbon picked up his first wicket.

Petersen completed a 116 ball fifty but had not added to his score when he edged a Gibbon delivery, and Cox held onto a good low catch.

Gibbon jumped in the air in celebration and was mobbed by his teammates.

Dickson went to tea on 99 and was fortunate on the resumption when his drive against Leach fell inches short of Finch at extra cover.

He eventually went to three figures when he cut Barnard for his 14th four.

But Barnard returned to dismiss the former Kent player on 104 with a ball which bounced on him and found the edge and was snapped up by Ed Pollock at first slip.

Worcestershire probed for further breakthroughs after the second new ball was taken at 285-3 from 80 overs.

But Borthwick and David Bedingham flourished in the final session and completed 68 and 67 ball half-centuries, respectively, during an unbroken stand of 117.