Noth­ing but pride after rapid vic­tory

Chris Old­nall sees 40 wick­ets in just two days as Worces­ter­shire win a low-scor­ing thriller

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

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.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Reach for the sky: Worces­ter­shire captain Joe Leach took ten wick­ets in the match

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