Nothing but pride after rapid victory
Chris Oldnall sees 40 wickets in just two days as Worcestershire win a low-scoring thriller
Steve Rhodes was bursting with pride after Worcestershire clinched a stunning two-day win which wrecked Northamptonshire’s hopes of re-writing the record books.
“There’s not been a lot of runs scored but, you know what, people have had some great entertainment and I’m very proud of the way the boys have played,” said the delighted New Road director of cricket.
Worcestershire’s second successive victory dashed Northants’ bid to win their opening three County Championship games of the season for the first time in their history.
Facing a testing target of 185, they were all out for 164 with paceman Joe Leach marking his first home Championship match as Worcestershire’s captain with a ten-wicket haul.
Rhodes said: “It was an emotional couple of days with lots of wickets falling and some really entertaining cricket. I spoke to a lot of the crowd who were really on the edge of their seats.
“The ball just nipped around and the overhead conditions made it very difficult. Because there was some nip around that’s what tends to happen these days. People try and go for it and often play shots that they wished they hadn’t.
“I was really proud of Joe (Leach) for getting two five-fors as well as Josh Tongue in the way he got his wickets when we needed them.”
Talented teenager Tongue also played a major role with the bat when he figured in a crucial last wicket stand worth 45 with Ed Barnard which enabled Worcestershire to leave Northants a target which proved a step too far.
Rhodes said: “We’re very proud to bowl Northants out twice. They’d won two out of two coming into this match and they ran really close to winning this game, so they’re going to be difficult to beat.”
Northants’ head coach David Ripley admitted his side missed opportunities to put Worcestershire under greater pressure.
He said: “We had good chances to put a good bit of daylight between us, but I can’t fault our effort. It was a difficult pitch to bat on.”
Reach for the sky: Worcestershire captain Joe Leach took ten wickets in the match