Welch is bowled over by Bears’ col­lec­tive ef­forts

Solihull News - - SPORT -

WAR­WICK­SHIRE bowl­ing coach Graeme Welch has saluted “a great col­lec­tive ef­fort” from his bowlers which has helped the team to a fly­ing start in the Spec­savers County Cham­pi­onship de­spite sev­eral in­jury blows.

Af­ter five cham­pi­onship matches, the last four of which they have won to lead the Di­vi­sion Two ta­ble, the Bears boast some im­pres­sive bowl­ing stats.

Henry Brookes and Jee­tan Pa­tel lead the wicket- tak­ing list with 20 at 19.00 and 26.85 runs apiece re­spec­tively while Olly Stone heads the av­er­ages with 15 at 12.40 apiece and Ryan Side­bot­tom has taken ten at 13.50.

Stone and Side­bot­tom have been re­stricted by in­juries to two cham­pi­onship games each so far which means that a heavy work­load has fallen on the only ev­er­p­re­sent in the seam at­tack, Chris Wright.

Though Wright’s 14 wick­ets have cost 36.93 apiece, he has played a cru­cial role as the en­gine- room of the at­tack. The 32- year- old has bowled 149.3 overs ( more than 30 more than any other seamer) taken wick­ets at im­por­tant times, of­ten just be­fore in­ter­vals, and helped build pres­sure which has led to his team­mates har­vest­ing some spec­tac­u­lar analy­ses at the other end.

“It has been a great col­lec­tive ef­fort by the bowlers,” said Welch.

“We’ve had in­juries with Olly Stone and Keith Barker hav­ing ham­strings and Ryan Side­bot­tom get­ting a side- strain, but Henry has come in and done re­ally well, Keith has come back in and the lads have all dove­tailed well.

“They have all taken re­spon­si­bil­ity and shared the wick­ets round but the one per­son I would pick out is Chris Wright. He has bowled re­ally well all year.

“He hasn’t had the re­wards but he has kept go­ing and will get his re­wards soon. He picked up im­por­tant wick­ets in Glam­or­gan’s sec­ond in­nings in the last game and that’s what he has been do­ing all sea­son – a great job for the team. “From all the bowlers there have been some mon­u­men­tal spells when pitches have gone quiet and some im­por­tant wick­ers taken. I am re­ally happy with where we are. Our ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers have done their job bril­liantly and young Henry has come in and re­ally em­braced first- class cricket. He is get­ting a lit­tle bit tired now, hav­ing played four cham­pi­onship games and seven games in the Royal Lon­don, so might need a lit­tle bit of a rest at some point but he’s done a great job, as they all have.”

Welch is pleased with the work of the bowl­ing unit – though be­lieves there is still plenty of scope for im­prove­ment.

“There are still things we can work on,” he said.

“One of my re­mits is for the bowlers to be go­ing at un­der three an over in the cham­pi­onship.

“At the mo­ment only Jeets is do­ing that so that is some­thing to work on. We are un­der three- and- a- half, which is de­cent, but there is room for im­prove­ment there.”

Graeme Welch and ( left) Chris Wright

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