Sunday, April 28th, 2024

Worcestershire vs Somerset: Day three report & highlights

Gareth Roderick hit a superb first century of the campaign to help hand Worcestershire the ascendancy and claim four batting bonus points on day three of the Vitality County Championship match with Somerset at Kidderminster.

The keeper-batter mixed determined defence with aggressive stroke-play in enabling Worcestershire earned a first innings lead of 142.

Jason Holder then made an early breakthrough in having Sean Dickson (0) caught behind by Roderick as Somerset closed on – from three overs.

It capped an excellent day for the home side.

Roderick and his fellow opener Jake Libby added 194 although on this occasion it was for the second wicket after Adam Finch had gone in as nightwatchman.

It was another example of the superb partnership they have forged since Roderick was promoted to open alongside Libby after five games of last season.

They have developed into one of the most reliable pairings at the top of the order in the County Championship.

Libby again batted with great authority before being dismissed three runs short of his second ton of the season.

He is in prime form and has amassed 349 runs so far this summer at an average of 69.80.

With Adam Hose adding quick runs during a boundary-laced knock, and Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira (66) and Joe Leach (43 not out) keeping the foot on the accelerator, Worcestershire reached 400 in 106.5 overs and four batting points.

Somerset were left three overs batting and reached 5/1.

Sterling work by the ground-staff meant play was able to get underway at 12.10pm after heavy overnight rain with only 10 of the possible 96 overs lost.

Worcestershire resumed on 107 for one with Jake Libby and Gareth Roderick’s second wicket stand so far worth 84.

Libby set the tone by cover-driving Migael Pretorious for the first four of the day as the 100 stand was completed off 177 balls

Roderick also looked in good touch as he straight drove both Lewis Gregory and Jake Ball for boundaries.

The keeper-batter completed an excellent half century from 115 balls with one of the shots of the morning, a back foot square drive for his eighth four at Kasey Aldridge’s expense.

There was a fascinating contest between bat and ball and Roderick was fortunate to inside edge Migael Pretorious for four during a probing spell.

But in between the two batters produced some fine stroke play and Libby moved into the 90s and brought up the 200 in the same over from Ball.

Libby looked set to complete his second hundred of the campaign but the introduction of spin in the form of England’s Shoaib Bashir led to his downfall on 97.

He went to drive a delivery which turned and came back in and was bowled.

Libby’s  89 ball knock contained 16 boundaries and the stand with Roderick was worth 194 in 52 overs.

Fit again Kashif Ali looked in good touch, cover driving Pretorious for four and  lofting Bashir over long on for six.

But Bashir struck again when Kashif Ali, who had made 17 off 20 balls, played back to another delivery which spun back in and was lbw.

A third wicket in quick succession fell when Rob Jones played forward and was bowled for a second ball duck.

Adam Hose went on the offensive from the start of his innings and his first seven scoring shots were boundaries.

He raced to 39 and accelerated Worcestershire towards three batting bonus points before he nicked Ball to wide first slip.

Roderick brought up his century with a quick single to mid on off Bashir from 194 balls with 13 boundaries.

He had time to strike Bashir for a straight six before on 122 attempting to hit Ball over the top and picking out mid off.

Holder (12) went lbw to Lewis Gregory playing back and Matthew Waite (5) was bowled aiming a big hit off the same bowler.

But D’Oliveira and Leach ensured the momentum was maintained during a partnership of 84 in 16 overs.

D’Oliveira made a fine 66, initially battling away and then opening out, before he was caught behind off Aldridge and immediately declared to leave Leach on 43 not out from 42 balls.

Worcestershire centurion Gareth Roderick said: “The lads applied themselves really well throughout the day. We knew we would have to ride our luck a little on a pitch still offering a bit.

“We got a little bit lucky, quite a few playing and missings, but I thought the boys stuck at it really well and managed to minimise the damage.

“We’ve got a nice little lead on the board and a great wicket tonight. You can’t really hope for much more than getting just one in a three over span. One less to get tomorrow.

“Innings of three phrases? It’s what we talk about in the dressing room a lot, not looking at the day as a whole, bring it down into little chunks and just try to chop them off.

“I love batting with Jake and he batted tremendously well. It’s always nice batting with him.

“After a run of a couple of low scores, you just want to get a score. I’m more happy with the position we are in as a unit going into tomorrow.

“We are going to have to be patient tomorrow. As long as you stack the ball in the right areas for long enough, you are always in the game.”

The final day will be FREE entry for supporters at Kidderminster.