Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Worcs Paceman Henry Renews Battles With Cook In Essex Clash

New Zealand paceman Matt Henry claimed a distinguished first Test scalp 11 months ago when he dismissed England captain Alastair Cook at Lord's.

Now the 24-year-old will come face to face with Cook again on Sunday when Worcestershire tackle Essex in the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.

It may be different surroundings than that international debut at the home of cricket for Henry who finished the game with six wickets.

But the stakes are still high for Henry who chose to undergo a spell of county cricket for the first time to help boost his hopes of playing Test cricket on a regular basis for the Black Caps.

Since that breakthough game, he has made three more Test appearances. Henry has had to wait nearly three weeks after arriving in England to make his Worcestershire debut against Gloucestershire at Bristol following the home wash-out against Kent.

He quickly made an impression with a match aggregate of 6-172 with the ball – three wickets in each innings – and a crucial 42 not out with the bat which helped the County secure maximum batting points.

Ironically it was Henry's last appearance at New Road that earned him that first Test call with an impressive performance in the four-day tour game which New Zealand won by just 15 runs.

He said: "There was a battle at the time of that game to get into the Test team but that is the beauty of New Zealand cricket at the moment, the fact we've got so much depth with the bowling. There is so much competition for spots."

The sight of a current England Test captain appearing at New Road will have novelty value when Cook walks out to the middle on Sunday.

Andrew Strauss was the last one, scoring 1 and 15 in April 2010 for Middlesex in a match where Steven Finn took 14 wickets but still appeared on the losing side.

Before that you have to go back to pre central contracts and an appearance by Michael Atherton in June 1997 when he scored just four for Lancashire.