VER­DICT

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

The scene for this roller-coaster match was set when 16 wick­ets tum­bled on the open­ing day. But that was noth­ing com­pared to day two when a stag­ger­ing 24 wick­ets fell be­fore cock-a-hoop Worces­ter­shire sealed a mem­o­rable vic­tory.

It was the New Road club’s first home County Cham­pi­onship match of the sea­son and if this is the kind of ex­cite­ment that’s go­ing to be served up this sum­mer then bring it on.

Bowler friendly con­di­tions led to a non-stop stream of wick­ets with the only half cen­tury in the match com­ing from Eng­land’s Moeen Ali, who was mak­ing his first Cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ance for Worces­ter­shire for al­most a year.

Both sides have made a highly promis­ing start to the sea­son – they’ve won two games each – and if this ex­plo­sive en­counter is any­thing to go by then sup­port­ers can ex­pect plenty more fire­works.

It was a crit­i­cal last wicket part­ner­ship, worth 45, be­tween Ed Barnard (26 not out) and young Josh Tongue (15) which en­abled Worces­ter­shire to leave in­form Northants with a chal­leng­ing 185 tar­get which just proved too much.

But who knows, in such a finely bal­anced match as this the over­all out­come may well have been dif­fer­ent had the vis­i­tors not been hit by injuries to pace duo Ben San­der­son and Rory Klein­veldt.

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