Wednesday, July 12th, 2023


The last wicket pair of Ben Gibbon and Adam Finch produced heroics with the bat for Worcestershire on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Yorkshire at New Road.

The pair came together with Worcestershire on 179-9 in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings total of 408.

But they defied the Tykes attack for nearly 36 overs in adding an invaluable 63 runs and taking the game deep into the final session of the day.

Gibbon achieved his career best score of 41 not out and he struck five boundaries in his 103 ball innings.

Finch was last out for 24 after battling away for 128 deliveries and striking the one four.

It followed on from his five-wicket haul yesterday and also his three sixes in the final over to seal a dramatic win for Worcestershire Rapids in the Vitality Blast game with Yorkshire Vikings at New Road in late May.

Worcestershire followed on 166 runs behind with nine overs remaining and Gibbon and Finch went straight back out into the middle in nightwatchman mode as the opening pair.

They again proved difficult to dislodge as Worcestershire closed on 22-0 from nine overs.

Azhar Ali, Jack Haynes, Adam Hose and Joe Leach all made useful contributions with the bat for Worcestershire in their first innings against a well disciplined Tykes attack.

Ben Coad finished with 5-33 from 21 overs.

Worcestershire resumed on 46-2 from 13 overs and Haynes looked in good nick as he collected a trio of boundaries off Coad.

He square drove, cover drove and flicked the pace bowler off his legs to the ropes.

Haynes had made a fluent 29 when he was adjudged lbw to the final ball of the sixth over of the day from Coad.

Azhar battled away to reach 22 but fell victim to Coad after he switched ends when squared up by a delivery edged to first slip.

Coad bowled five successive maidens before being rested after morning figures of 8-5-14-2.

Mark Steketee came accounted for Ed Pollock (0) who nicked to second slip.

Hose got his head down against some probing bowling and it was 26 balls before he got off the mark.

But he then started to score freely with a succession of boundaries against Matthew Fisher and George Hill.

Former Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite appeared to edge a delivery from Sketekee onto his pad before the ball ballooned to third slip.

Worcestershire reached 119-6 off 38.1 overs before rain halted play just before lunch with Hose unbeaten on 37 from 59 balls.

Hose added a single when play resumed after a lengthy delay before being bowled by Fisher pushing forward.

Leach looked in fine touch, cutting Sketekee for four to get off the mark and then cover driving the same bowler and Hill for further boundaries.

Josh Baker (12) helped him add 31 for the eighth wicket before he was caught at cover driving at Coad.

Leach made an accomplished 33 off 44 balls but then was undone by a ball which lifted on him and Coad held a head high catch at third slip.

But then Finch and Gibbon joined forces and batted in excellent fashion until Finch was caught behind off Sketekee and then went back out to bat impressively for a second time.

Gibbon said: “We were taking it ball by ball, over by over, that was our conversation at the end of every over. Moving into tomorrow, we will try and do the same thing.

“As we crept closer to the follow-on target, it became on our radar to try and get past it but it didn’t pan out.

“But if myself and Adam (Finchy) can put on a good partnership in the morning, then I think we are in a good place.

“They’ve got good bowlers and, again, all we can do is take it ball by ball. I’m enjoying it out there so hopefully I can carry it on in the morning.

“As we were walking off at the end of the first innings, Jake (Libby) gave me the nod that we were going back out to bat again.

“We were seeing the ball pretty well when we came off so I think it was a good move to put us in again.

“Getting more overs into the legs of their bowlers obviously helps us and in the morning it will be about getting our heads down and consuming more overs.

“I enjoy batting out there with the crowd behind me and Finchy.”