Wednesday, June 28th, 2023


Centurion Gareth Roderick and Ed Pollock batted with great skill and application on the final day to earn Worcestershire a draw from the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Derbyshire at New Road.

Opener Roderick hit a superb 123 spanning nearly five and a half hours and Pollock a defiant 38 not out from 167 balls.

Their efforts enabled Worcestershire, who had began their second innings 341 runs in arrears to close on 243-6 and maintain their unbeaten Championship record in matches at New Road this summer.

Roderick has batted predominantly in the middle order since establishing himself in the keeper-batter role last summer in contrast to his eight seasons with Gloucestershire in the upper echelons of the order.

But he was moved up to number three for the home game against Leicestershire and a second innings knock of 59 spanning five hours helped seal victory on a difficult pitch.

He then opened in the last Championship match against Sussex at Hove and had featured in three half century partnerships with Jake Libby before this marathon knock.

Roderick had spoken on Wednesday evening of his need to turn promising starts into major contributions and this was a top quality effort mixing aggression with stubborn defence.

Pollock is renowned for his fluent stroke-play and ability to score at a rapid rate mainly in the opening batter role.

He has moved down into the middle-order in Championship and T20 cricket after a shortage of runs.

But here he got his head down from ball one in support of Roderick and blunted the Derbyshire attack.

It took him 120 balls before he sliced Leus du Plooy down to third man for his first boundary but eating up time and deliveries was the prime consideration.

Worcestershire resumed on 70-2 against a Derbyshire attack which was a bowler light after Ben Aitchison had suffered hip and back problems earlier in the game.

Roderick was 38 not out overnight and began full of attacking intent and clipped the first delivery of the day from Conor McKerr through mid wicket for four.

The keeper-batter completed a 69 ball half century with a similar shot at Anuj Dal’s expense for his eighth boundary.

He then cover drove McKerr and off drove Nick Potts for fours and looked in excellent touch.

Debutant Rehaan Edavalath scrapped away in determined fashion for 62 balls.

After making 15, he drove hard at Nick Potts and nicked to Wayne Madsen who held onto a low chance at first slip.

Roderick continued to score freely but Adam Hose (1) attempted to drive spinner Alex Thomson and was bowled through the gate.

Pollock survived a confident appeal when on two for a legside catch by keeper Brooke Guest off Luis Reece.

But the left hander got his head down, making four off 49 balls, to ensure there were no more breakthroughs by Derbyshire before lunch when Roderick was unbeaten on 87 out of 132-4.

Roderick swept Thomson for four to move into the 90s and then his 16th boundary – a steer to third man off Reece – took him to an excellent hundred from 155 balls.

Pollock played an innings out of character with his free-flowing style and scored five runs from the first 100 balls he faced, including one single in the first 75 minutes after lunch.

But it was an invaluable effort in the context of Worcestershire attempting to thwart Derbyshire’s victory push.

Derbyshire rotated their bowlers and set unorthodox and imaginative fielders in an attempt to make a decisive breakthrough.

The Roderick-Pollock stand of 63 had spanned 38 overs when a breakthrough was finally made.

Roderick on 123 pushed forward to Thomson and was caught at short leg. He batted in total for 109 balls and struck 19 boundaries.

But Matthew Waite (17 not out from 97 balls) also provided stubborn resistance when joining Pollock in the middle.

Pollock gradually accelerated and, after eight overs were lost to rain, drove Dal through the covers to for his 10th four to reach his half century from 181 balls.

But on 56 he aimed a leg side blow at Reece and was caught by Dal over his shoulder running back to cover.

It was Derbyshire’s last success as Waite and Joe Leach stood firm until the players shook hands with one over remaining.