Monday, June 26th, 2023


Joe Leach continued his impressive form but Worcestershire experienced a challenging day with the ball and in the field during the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Derbyshire at New Road.

Leach went into the game as the leading wicket-taker in Division Two with 32 scalps at the half-way stage of the competition.

He dismissed Brooke Guest early in the day and then returned to send back Wayne Madsen when taking the second new ball.

It was another top notch display from the long-serving all-rounder after Derbyshire had resumed on 32-2 from 10 overs in reply to Worcestershire’s first innings total of 237 on the opening day.

But the remainder of the attack struggled to find the right line and length on a consistent basis, during a partnership of 267 for the fourth wicket between Madsen and fellow centurion Leus du Plooy.

It was Derbyshire’s highest fourth wicket partnership against Worcestershire although both Madsen and du Plooy were given a ‘life’ against Indian paceman Navdeep Saini and Leach respectively.

Derbyshire closed on 374-5 and now Worcestershire will be looking to respond with a substantial total of their own in the second innings on day three.

Leach needed only four balls to strike at the beginning of the day.

Guest did not move his feet to a delivery which nibbled away as he edged through to keeper Gareth Roderick with the total 38-3.

It was Leach’s 33rd scalp of the season and he asked questions of both batters during a typically probing opening spell.

But the remainder of the attack found it challenging to find the right line and length on a consistent basis and conceded too many boundaries to the fourth wicket pair.

The 100 partnership was completed in 19.1 overs

Navdeep Saini bowled with pace and aggression in a post lunch spell and should have had picked up the wicket of du Plooy on 69 who survived a chance to slip.

Leach replaced the Indian pace bowler and Madsen on 94 edged him at chest height to slip who again failed to hold the opportunity.

Madsen completed his fourth hundred against Worcestershire off 148 balls with one six and 16 fours and Du Plooy followed him to three figures from 144 deliveries with 14 boundaries.

The first delivery with the second new ball broke the partnership when Madsen was lbw to Leach for 143.

Haider Ali (9) then tried to cut Dillon Pennington and feathered through to Roderick.

But du Plooy remained unbeaten on 159 at the close in a total of 374-5.

Worcestershire Assistant Head Coach, Kadeer Ali, said: “A disappointing day if I’m honest. It started well with a wicket in the first over but that first session really killed us, put us a long way back in the game.

“I thought we bowled poorly in that first session when I think there were 21 boundaries. We didn’t stack up, we didn’t hit top of off for long enough like we talked about in the morning.

“In the last session we bowled something near to how we should have been bowling throughout the day.

“We fielded poorly, the ground fielding was poor, we dropped a couple of chances, and we’ve got to front up tomorrow morning and hopefully have a better day.

“Give credit to Derbyshire, they played brilliantly today and showed us how to bat and bowl on this wicket.

“It’s a pretty good pitch. You’ve got to be disciplined and I thought they were disciplined with the ball yesterday and made it very hard for us after our opening partnership.

“They bowled straight with men in front of the bat, exactly what we should have done today, and with the bat today they were nice and patient, defended well and put away the loose ball.”